JIA can be difficult both physically and emotionally. Find out about some emotions that may be caused by JIA, when to seek counseling or psychological help, and what types of psychological therapies are available for children and teens.
Children and teenagers with JIA may benefit from various psychological treatments. These treatments can help to treat their physical pain, as well as help them cope with the wide range of emotions they may be feeling.
There are many psychological treatments available to treat children’s pain. These include relaxation techniques and distraction.
Relaxation techniques can:
Distraction techniques can help a person with JIA to move their attention onto other things and not focus on the pain.
Further information about relaxation and distraction techniques can be found in the Just for Teens JIA section.
JIA can affect the body. It can also affect emotions or how your child feels. Your child may experience a wide range of emotions during the teen years. This can happen whether or not they have JIA.
Talk to your child or teen and ask if they have felt any of the following emotions because of JIA:
What other feelings or emotions have they experienced because of JIA?
It is important to recognize these feelings. They can affect a child physically and emotionally. Stress and bad feelings can make them feel down. They can also make JIA flares harder to manage.
There are a number of reasons why a child or teen might need counselling or psychological therapy. Therapy can help with issues that may or may not be related to JIA including:
Psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses and adolescent health specialists can help with emotional issues. Your child’s nurse or doctor will be able to help figure out who can help them with their problem. If the nurse or doctor thinks that your child might need medication for a mental health problem, they may be referred to a psychiatrist.
If your child or teen is having drug or alcohol abuse issues, a psychologist or social worker with expertise in substance abuse can help.
A psychologist, social worker or nurse can also help with issues related to moving on to an adult JIA centre.
Social workers, psychologists, and nurses are a good resource for helping with school-related issues, such as:
These health-care professionals can also help your child figure out how to talk to friends or other people about JIA. They can help your child cope with the need to take medication and to do exercises. Social workers and counsellors can sometimes help you work out financial issues.
Psychotherapy is a broad term that includes group, family and individual meetings with one of the people described above. It usually involves talking about issues and dealing with life events. Psychotherapy may also include expressing feelings through art, dancing or singing.
There are lots of different kinds of psychotherapy. You can ask what kind your therapist uses. Don’t be surprised if they tell you that the psychotherapy they provide is a mixture of different kinds of therapy.
The idea behind cognitive behavioural therapy is that how you think influences how you feel and how you deal with the world. With cognitive behavioural therapy, you examine your thoughts and get help figuring out how to change those thoughts. Cognitive behavioural therapy tends to be a short therapy, with many issues addressed in eight to 12 sessions. CBT is very helpful for people with chronic pain, depression, and anxiety.
Your child may feel embarrassed to ask for help. Remember that doctors and nurses recommend psychological treatments all the time. They won’t think that your child is weird for bringing it up.
Give a therapist a chance to gain your trust. However, if you or your child really don’t feel a connection after you have seen the therapist a few times, ask if there is someone else you can see.
Welcome to the Taking Charge: Managing JIA Online Program! In this section you will learn what to expect in the program, how to get started and how to set goals to better manage JIA.
JIA stands for juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Find out what causes JIA, the different types of JIA and how it will affect you now and in the future.
Diagnosing JIA may be difficult as joint pain and swelling may be a part of many different illnesses. Diagnosis of JIA typically includes a physical exam, blood tests and imaging studies.
Pain, stiffness, and tiredness or fatigue, are common symptoms of JIA. These symptoms can lead to difficulties with participating in school and sports activities, and enjoying time with your friends. Learn about pain, fatigue, and stiffness, how to manage symptoms and how these symptoms can cause stress.
There are several strategies you can use to help you cope with pain, stress, and sleep problems. These include relaxation, distraction, and managing your thoughts. In this section, learn more about how each of these strategies work.
When you know about your medications, you can talk to your doctor about them and make good choices for yourself. Find out about the different types of JIA medications, how they work, common side effects, and the importance of talking to your doctor about your medication plan.
Did you know that there are many other therapies that you can use to manage JIA symptoms? They can help to prevent complications so that you can do all the things you want to do. In this section, learn more about physical, occupational, and psychological therapies; maintaining healthy nutrition; surgical options for JIA, and more.
Your role in making decisions about your treatment plan is very important. Your health-care team and other members of your support system are available to help you make these decisions. In turn, they can help you to manage your JIA.
Whether you have JIA or not, you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Find out how to stay healthy and active, learn about puberty and relationships, healthy body image, and making healthy lifestyle choices.
Sometime between the ages of 18 to 22, you most likely will transition from your pediatric rheumatologist to the adult health care setting. At that time, there are a number of things you, your family, and your health-care team can do to help make this change go smoothly.