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Mental Health and Pediatric Crohn's

I did a little digging and learned that Crohn's patients have a significant increase over the general population in diagnosed mental illness such as anxiety and depression.

We have two kids with Crohn's disease and one of them is very accepting and rolls with the bad days using her own set of coping mechanisms.

My other child had a serious depressive episode this year and struggled with anxiety for many years. He sought treatment and is working in therapy and with medication.

I saw the anxiety years ago first in the months leading to his Crohn's diagnosis which could be a coincidence but it is interesting.

I wanted to make this thread to ask about people's experiences with mental illness and thier children with Crohn's.


Well-known member
Yeah, I have read that also. It is also worse in pediatrics than adult because…well….kids and the whole growing up thing. This is why many practices nowhere a mental health professional on their team. BTW, the incidence of depression and suicide in psoriatic patients is also considerably higher than the general healthy population. I didn't know this when responding to your psoriasis thread so this changes what your discussion about psoriasis will be with the dermatologist. If the psoriasis can not be adequately controlled with topicals and it really bothers him, then you might consider a drug switch/add more readily than we did.

We have been lucky so far. O and T have both done rather well with their diagnoses. O's adult GI offers a visit with their GI psychologist every time they talk but she declines.
I started reading articles about psoriasis and depression- wow. I had no idea. Now I will definitely make it known at our consult and I thank you so much for bringing it to my attention.
Meds and therapy have been very helpful for both of my kids, one with and one without Crohn's. E and I also participated together in a year-long DBT skills group for teens and parents that was very helpful for both of us. I think groups can be a bit "luck of the draw" though; we happened to be in a group that included older teens (who my daughter admired) who were really invested in the process.


Staff member
My kiddo saw a psychologist who worked with kids with chronic illnesses for years. She was SO against seeing her in the beginning, but it made a world of difference and it was very hard to transition to an adult psychologist!! Medication and therapy (CBT) have helped her immensely and she has become incredibly resilient - she has dealt with 10+ surgeries and 2-3 hospitalizations a year for nearly a decade. Meeting other kids with Juvenile Arthritis also really helped her and my older daughter.
Maya's response reminded me that I meant to mention Camp Oasis. Have your kids had a chance to meet other kids with Crohn's? E went to Camp Oasis for two years and I think it helped her to meet other kids and counselors who could understand what she's gone through.

my little penguin

Staff member
The things we have read over the years is when inflammation is present the blood /Brain barrier is not as strong so more depression /anxiety occur
Once the inflammation goes away the barrier is intact and less depression/anxiety
There are studies for PANDAs etc where when the inflammation is treated and calmed the mental side is as well

I have go with the flow kiddo and was dx very young (age 7) so I think that makes a big difference if they don’t remember not having crohns