Crohn's Disease is an autoimmune disorder that falls under a category of diseases known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (sometimes referred to as Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome; Hanauer, S. B., 1996). An autoimmune disease is one in which a person's body determines its own cells and tissues to be foreign and thus, attacks them accordingly. Crohn's Disease most often results from inflammation within the small intestine, ileum, colon, and even the entire gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth to the anus. Crohn's Disease presents a multitude of uncomfortable and painful gastrointestinal symptoms, which are extremely varied among Crohn's patients and have either a chronic or an episodic pattern to them.
Many of the symptoms of Crohn's disease include, but are not limited to abdominal pain, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, incontinence, constipation, and weight loss (1996). In children, Crohn's Disease can present severe growth retardation and chronic difficulty gaining weight (because of the bowel's inability to absorb sufficient nutrition; (Ghosh, S., Drummond, H. E, et al, 1998). Crohn's Disease also presents a myriad of other, extraintestinal conditions, such as arthritis, skin problems, liver disease, kidney stones, and eye inflammation. Flare-ups are extremely common after months or even years of a period of remission.
[...] Coping capabilities are vast, and – as one would imagine – vary greatly from patient to patient. Many times, a patient's coping capabilities are influenced by, depend on, and/or are entwined with their internal resources and support networks. Therefore, effective counseling involves examining all three of these factors and noticing how they relate to one another. Psychotherapy is one of many types of specific interventions that the social worker can employ when working with patients with Crohn's Disease. Psychotherapy and some of its techniques have already been discussed in the aforementioned case study with Mrs. [...]
[...] Therapy of Crohn's disease in childhood. Pediatric Drugs, 2(3), 193-203. Boas, M. (2007). SSBT 501: Advanced Child and Adolescent Development and Dysfunction class. Lecture on Bullying and Relational Aggression on October 3, 2007. Case Western Reserve University, Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. Corman, M.L. (2005). Colon and Rectal Surgery. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Publishing. Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America, The. (2007). Retrieved November 10, 2007, from http://www.ccfa.org/. Crohn's-Disease-and-Stress. (2007). Retrieved November 12, 2007, from http://www.crohns-disease-and-stress.com/fish-oil-for-crohns-disease.html. Falvo, D.R. (2005). [...]
[...] Women are just slightly more likely to get Crohn's Disease than are men (Noel, B., Martins, M. D., 2004). Those with diagnosed parents, siblings, or children are 3 to 20 times more likely to get Crohn's Disease (Satsangi, J, Jewell D.P., et al., 1998). There also exists a concordance rate of 55% for twins (both monozygotic and dizygotic; Tysk, C., Lindberg E., et al., 1988). Often, what is actually Crohn's Disease is misdiagnosed as another, similar disease, usually Ulcerative Colitis. [...]
[...] This case study discusses and follows the therapeutic intervention of Mrs. Havlicek – an 82- year-old, Czechoslovakian immigrant and her strained relationship with Vaclav, her 53-year-old son. Mrs. Havlicek had recently been diagnosed with end-stage Crohn's Disease, requiring major surgery. Getting Crohn's Disease exacerbated her already strained relationship with her son, resulting in a referral to Medical Family Therapy, asking them to intervene in this intensely difficult relationship. At the time of the initial therapeutic session, it was glaringly apparent that both she and her son suffer unhealthy attachment and interdependency issues. [...]
[...] Next, it is essential to discuss the psychosocial impact that Crohn's Disease can have on patients. Disabling effects of Crohn's Disease are chronic pain (Falvo, D. R., 2005) – particularly abdominal pain – making it difficult to physically and adequately function throughout daily life. Both colostomy bags and incontinence play a major role in forming and maintaining relationships, particularly romantic relationships. Having to wear a colostomy bag presents many issues related to body image, for instance (2005). Many Crohn's patients with a colostomy bag have difficulty becoming sexually involved with a potential romantic partner, not only because the colostomy bag itself erodes their self-esteem, but also because of concerns related to how that potential partner will view them and whether or not they will even be able to become sexually aroused (2005). [...]
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