Message from the Director of the Department
During the course of their physical and mental development, children are susceptible to psychosocial stress, by which they might develop different physical symptoms. In addition, difficulties and troubles in their daily life because of their physical diseases might cause them mental symptoms such as anxiety and depression or behavioral problems such as non-attendance at school. In this department, we make efforts to treat your children in cooperation with their families, schools, and people around them, by understanding them comprehensively from physical, psychological, and social aspects based on “psychosomatic medicine (Bio-Psycho-Social model).”
Department of Child Psychosomatic MedicineAyumi Okada
Scope of Target Diseases
“Psychosomatic disease,” as defined by the Japanese Society of Psychosomatic Medicine, is not a mental disease but a state of a physical disease in which psychosocial stresses have strong effects on a person. In addition, with children who cannot verbalize with their troubles well in the course of their development, their troubles might sometimes manifest as physical symptoms: feeling ill, loss of appetite, or headaches and stomachaches, which are their “body’s words.” This department serves as a counseling window for such children and their families, not only to treat them in this department itself but also to take steps in collaboration with other departments, medical institutions, and educational facilities. The main target diseases and states are as follows. If your child “feels ill with nothing wrong found by any inspection” or “comes to feel ill under a particular condition (such as when going to school), please think about taking them to this department.
- Orthostatic Dysregulation, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic headaches, eating disorder, etc.
- Secondary disability of children with chronic diseases (cannot go to school or avoid meeting others)
- Attending to inquiries about children with chronic diseases visiting this department
Features and Description of Medical Care
Pediatricians and psychologists work together to provide medical care. Outpatient treatment is by advance reservation only. Outpatients are seen from 30 to 60 min. This department also attends to inquiries about children with chronic diseases and their families. It supports children hospitalized over long periods and their families in collaboration with other departments. Fundamentally, it approaches them from both physical and psychological aspects, providing them with lifestyle guidance, relaxation, counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, play therapy, clinical drawing, sandplay therapy and others. Then, regarding their families as treatment allies, it conducts family interviews and parent training in parallel with children’s treatment.
Nonverbal psychological therapies such as a sandplay therapy are concurrently used for children at an early age or who are not good at verbal expression. Great effort is put into treatment for children with Orthostatic Dysregulation. Their blood pressures and cerebral blood flow are monitored non-invasively and continuously using a basic system to measure continuous blood pressure and hemodynamic status (Finometer MIDI) or near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Regular evaluation by painless inspection methods engenders more detailed diagnoses and adequate treatments.
In the treatment of psychosomatic disorders, “growth as a tail wind” can often serve as a solution for your problems. For your children to demonstrate their ability, we would like to address the treatment in cooperation with you and your family members.
This department’s target patients are those who are junior high school students at the initial visit. Please talk with your child’s primary care doctor before making an appointment through the regional medical liaison office. In addition, because both first examination and re-examination are by advance reservation only and because an appropriate amount of time is spent on them, thank you for understanding that some time might be necessary before an initial visit and that it might be difficult to respond to an urgent request for treatment. In addition, your child might be referred to other departments depending on the child’s condition. With the child’s or the family’s consent, it is possible to collaborate with their educational facilities. Whenever that is necessary, please let us know.