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Please help. Need pschologicalst to help deal with diagnosis


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Diane Tipton Find out more about Diane Tipton
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  • Please help. Need pschologicalst to help deal with diagnosis

    Could anyone give me some ideas on how to find a good psychologist or psychiatrist to work with my teenage son to help him deal with his lifestyle change from the HCM diagnosis? I have called several local physicians who are on our insurance plan, and none have experience working with chronically ill teens.

    At this time, our son is on homebound services from school. He does not have the energy to stay even part of the day. He is in atrial fib, and has been cardioverted several times. He also has a pacemaker, severe HCM, ADD, WPW Syndrome (ablated) and a metobolic gentetic disorder we are just now exploring. At 16, nearly 17, he is aware of his condition and we do not keep secrets from him.

    He insists he is fine with all of this, but I think he is getting really frustrated. His anger comes out inappropriatly and over little things. We are trying to interest him in golf and/or cycling. At this point he does not have many interests outside of getting his driver's license, tatoos (I know he can't have one), video games and music. Friends are few because he does not know anyone at school, and there are not any children his age nearby. We drive over to pick up a special friend as often as possible.

    We tried a psychologist recommended by his cardiologist, however, this dr. had no experience with chronic illness. He was not successful in getting our son to even talk after several sessions. After talking with us about his illness and how it has changed his life, he said<"Okay we are done with that. We don't need to discuss it anymore. Agreed?" the doctor does not understand more physical activity is not an option. None of his physicians have come up with a another name to check out.

    Has anyone had this problem? How have you found a good therapist to help with the lifestyle changes? Any suggestions other than calling one by one in the yellow pages (I have begun to do that)

    Thanks for any help you can render!!!

  • #2
    Re: Please help. Need pschologicalst to help deal with diagn

    Call the referral service of the Texas Psychological Association (or the Houston Psychological Association). Either should be able to give you the names of several psychologists who specialize in working with people with chronic illnesses; try to get one who also works with teens. Then call and talk with them about your son's needs. You may find one who can make a connection with him. If not, you may just have to wait until your son is ready to discuss his health issues with someone. Frustrating for a parent, but well teens are frustrating too! Best wishes.


    • #3
      Re: Please help. Need pschologicalst to help deal with diagn

      Sue has a good idea try the state org. OR try calling your local hosptial they may have a referl service - OR try a medical school in your area.

      Remember - aside from the fact your son has chronic illness -he is still a teenager and THAT is a difficult time no matter what the other factors in his life are. Give him room, care and guidance...It has been said that the 2 most important things a parent give their child are Roots and Wings.
      Give him a good foundation so he will sore as an adult. Your on the right track and your son is luck to have you looking out for him.

      Be well,
      Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
      YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

      Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
      lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
      Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
      Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
      Currently not obstructed
      Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)


      • #4
        Re: Please help. Need pschologicalst to help deal with diagn

        you may also want to call the best children's hospital in your state.

        sometimes they have psychologists who help children deal with chronic, life-threatening diseases.

        good luck
        [email protected]

        Detroit, Michigan
        Proud father of Andy, Meaghan, and Sean

        medical research:




        • #5
          Re: Please help. Need pschologicalst to help deal with diagn

          Diane, Best wishes in finding the the right person to talk with your son. If he is not ready to talk, even the right person will have to be put on hold for a while. Just let your son know that someone is available when he is ready. He may simply object to the idea of a psychologist/psychiatrist. He may find it easier to talk with a school connected person - guidance, previous teacher, etc. He may relate to a minister or another adult friend or relative of the family. You may have more options than you have thought of. Maybe your family doctor can spend a few minutes feeling things out for him. As the mother of 2 sons, I can tell you that teenage boys aren't always the most talkative, and with some, any words that don't have to be said are a waste of time. It's very quiet around our house . Unfortunately, dealing with chronic illness, esp in young people, is not a popular field. I'm sorry I can't offer any real help, but there are many of us ready to take any suggestions anyone else may have to offer. Linda