How Can I Tell if My Child's Symptoms Are Caused or Aggravated by How He or She Feels?

Child crying in a big yellow chair wearing pajamas

Children’s emotions usually affect what they say about their physical symptoms.  For example, if your child has a mild stomachache is he or she more likely to complain of this on a day when there is a test at school, which the child has been dreading, or on a day when the family is about to go to an exciting amusement park?

Emotions can even cause symptoms to appear.   How many of us have experienced a headache, stomachache, or chest pain during a stressful time?  How many of us have shed tears of joy? 

Even the symptoms of medical illnesses such as asthma, diabetes, and hypertension can be altered by emotions.  Stress can trigger an asthma attack, high blood sugars, and increased blood pressure.  Conversely, calming can help your child’s breathing improve, and bring down blood sugars and blood pressure.  Therefore, use of self-calming techniques such as hypnosis, slow deep breathing, and learning how to think differently about life stressors can lead to improved health. 


Are Emotions Playing A Factor? 

There are many clues that suggest your child’s emotions are related to their physical symptom(s): 


Take Home Message 

Consider how emotions might play a role when your child feels ill or uncomfortable and discuss this possibility with your child’s health care provider. 


About Center Point Medicine 

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Profile Photo or Ran D. Anbar, MD, FAAP Ran D. Anbar, MD Ran D. Anbar, MD, FAAP, is board certified in both pediatric pulmonology and general pediatrics, offering hypnosis and counseling services at Center Point Medicine in La Jolla, California, and Syracuse, New York. Dr. Anbar is also a fellow and approved consultant of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. Dr. Anbar is a leader in clinical hypnosis, and his 20 years of experience have allowed him to successfully treat over 5,000 children. He also served as a professor of pediatrics and medicine and the director of pediatric pulmonology at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York, for 21 years.

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