Psychophysiologic Treatment of Cyclic Vomiting

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Summary:Cyclic vomiting (CV) presents a crisis not only to the identified patient but also to the entire family, who often feel like helpless victims of the effects of the vomiting cycles. This often creates despair, depression, and anger about the vomiting continuing indefinitely. If the child can be given effective medication and the family can be helped with the emotional burden surrounding the illness, the frequency and severity of CV tends to diminish. This article explores ways of lessening the psychologic and social effects of the cyclical vomiting through a multidisciplinary treatment plan for the family that involves the pediatrician, school, psychotherapist, and family as effective therapeutic agents. The child needs to be helped to express feelings which he or she cannot put into words. The article describes dramatic play involving symbolization of the illness, creation of metaphors in stories and drawings for the dilemmas surrounding CV and family therapy in which unnamed stresses are given consideration. Through this treatment, health and hope are promoted within each family member.

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