Asthma Triggers and Emotional Factors in Children
Various substances that a child’s body does not tolerate can cause asthma attacks in sensitive children. These are attacks of shortness of breath all the way to a feeling of suffocation due to spasms of the spiral muscles in the bronchi. It is known that some children react with asthma attacks to some types of dust (pollen, mold, feathers, animal hair), to some types of food (eggs, strawberries), to certain medications (serums), etc. But in most cases, emotional factors also contribute to attacks. They should be considered especially when the attacks are frequent and severe. In some cases, asthma is quite psychogenic in nature; it is probably much more common than is usually thought. Interesting are the results of research by Long and friends who found that the vast majority of asthmatic children lose their attacks when they change the environment, although they are still exposed to harmful substances, the so-called. allergens. This strengthens us in the belief that asthma is in most cases a psychogenic illness.
Behavioral Disorders and Emotional Tension in Asthmatic Children
Asthmatic children regularly suffer from various behavioral disorders. They are irritable, aggressive, restless, sleep poorly. In their environment, there are many unhealthy influences on the child that maintain constant emotional tension in him. This is, of course, most often a combination of indulgence and austerity, cuddling and child abuse. When he lives in constant mental tension, and in addition is prone to a hypersensitive (allergic) reaction of his respiratory organs, the child can respond to any significant affect with an asthma attack. Usually this is how he reacts to the feeling of fear or anger, and most often to the feeling that he is losing the support of the educator.
The Vicious Cycle of Asthma and Psychological Problems in Children
Once a child becomes a chronic asthma patient, he is often timidly protected from any burden, hindered in activity and independence, and his association with other children is limited. Such a procedure worsens the child’s psychological problems and supports his asthma. Then it continues into adulthood.
The Role of Psychogenic Illness in Childhood Asthma
Typical pathogenic asthma affected 8-year-old Ljerka. She is an illegitimate child. Her mother entrusted her to the care of complete strangers as an infant. They didn’t deal with the girl much, so Ljerka longed for a T-shirt that she only saw a few times a year. When Ljerka was ready for school, her mother took her in. In the meantime, she married and had another child. As soon as Ljerka came to her mother and stepfather, she became jealous of her little half-brother. And not without reason; the parents dealt with the young child much more than with Ljerka. Then she reacted with asthma attacks, Pediatricians underwent a detailed examination to find an allergen to which Ljerka was hypersensitive. But they didn’t find him, because they didn’t even look for the real one. It consisted of Ljerka’s severe disappointment in her mother, whom she could not forgive for not paying more attention to her. The girl gets seizures always in the same situation: when the mother goes with her husband and son somewhere away from home, leaving Ljerka alone. This fact clearly shows what the girl wants to achieve with her neurosis. She tries to simply force her mother to pay more attention to her. She succeeds, after all. When a girl gets an asthma attack, the mother gives up on her intention, stays at home and takes care of her child with worry.
The Importance of Addressing Psychological Factors in Asthma Treatment
In the treatment of asthma, no matter what the causes, psychological factors should not be forgotten in any case. With drug therapy – if needed at all – the emotional atmosphere in which the child grows should be rehabilitated as much as possible.
In conclusion, childhood asthma is a complex condition that involves both physical and emotional factors. While certain substances can trigger asthma attacks, emotional tension and behavioral disorders can also contribute to the condition. It is important to consider these psychological factors in the treatment of childhood asthma, as neglecting them can worsen the child’s psychological problems and support their asthma. By addressing both physical and emotional aspects of the condition, healthcare professionals can provide more effective care and improve the overall well-being of children with asthma.