Image for child counseling article You have helped your child make adjustments to medications, diet, and certain lifestyle changes to manage inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The greatest issues they may have to contend with are the social and emotional challenges that come with having a chronic illness.

In particular, your child may be struggling with concerns about being "normal" and fitting in, embarrassment and shame over having IBD, worries about their health, frustration with the restrictions and limitations imposed upon them by the illness, and being rejected or teased by other children. How can you help your child cope?

Your child may be worried about their symptoms, as well as the disease itself. The worst fears may be the result of not understanding or knowing enough about their illness. Reassure your child that they're not at fault for their condition. Some signs of difficulty you may see are:

  • Sleeplessness
  • Poor eating habits
  • Not following their treatment plan
  • Sadness, frequent crying, loss of interest in activities may indicate signs of depression

Your child understands a chronic disease must be managed throughout life, but remind them that IBD doesn't have to slow them down. Let them know they're not alone and they will live a normal life like other children. Here are some tips to set your child on the right track.