Chronic Health Problems in Teens

Long-term or chronic health problems during the teen years can often make physical and emotional development more complicated.

Illness, injury, medical treatments, hospitalization, and surgeries linked to chronic illness can cause a teen to worry even more about how they look. They can also interfere with a teen's desire to be independent. Chronic illness also affects a teen's relationships with parents and friends. A teen with a chronic health issue may struggle to cope with illness and response to treatment.

Adolescent medicine focuses on the health needs of the teen's illness, condition, or injury. Healthcare providers in this field expect and assess developmental complications linked to the specific health problem. These providers also help teens and their families come up with strategies to deal with chronic health issues.