Medical Conditions on Adolescents

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Chronic illness has a large effect on everyone, no matter what the age. In adolescents, they are still dependent on their parents as their caregivers, and are old enough to understand and make decisions for themselves. Chronic illness has been defined as “an illness that is prolonged in duration, does not often resolve spontaneously, and is rarely cured completely.” (Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing). Adolescence is “a period of rapid physical, psychological, emotional and social development during which young people develop a sense of an independent identity, focus on peer acceptance, and plan for the future and then develop romantic and intimate relationships.” (Erickson 1963, Suris et al 2004 Christie & Viner…show more content…
This can go beyond one’s control with diseases like Anorexia. With body issues like height, weight, pubertal stage and scarring, these problems can persist into adult life. They can contribute to reduced levels of self esteem and can increase anxiety as well as provoke under nutrition. Carroll et al. (1983) found that adolescents with chronic illness experience twice as much anxiety, seven times as much concern about weight, twice as much concern about acne & four times as much concern about health in general. Stress is a common problem with everyone. With chronically ill patients, the stress levels are increased and there is greater risk for depression. This can be caused by perception of being different from their peers or from isolation from long stays in hospital. Conformity is important in the adolescent years. A mother sees herself as the primary care giver as she gave birth to the child and her stress is related to her child’s own perception of stress. Fathers have been found to have more difficulty in forming attachment with an ill child, and if it’s a boy and the early age bonding fails, it can cause continuing conflict. Lupus and Asthma can be negatively affected by stress. The high cost of ongoing treatment causes stress for all family members, and the uncertainty of not knowing the course and nature of the illness. It can affect other siblings and puts them at greater risk
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