Meet a haemophilia psychologist
Ana Torres Ortuño has a PhD in psychology and works as a psychologist for the Murcia Regional Haemophilia Association. In this video she talks about how psychologists support people with the condition.
Ana on the importance of holistic care in haemophilia:
“I believe that it is currently widely accepted and understood that patients with haemophilia require holistic care, i.e. from nurses and haematologists right through to physiotherapists and social workers as part of multidisciplinary teams since this is a long-term, chronic condition and the care needs to be adapted in line with the changing needs and requirements of each individual.”
What is the role of a psychologist for people with haemophilia?
“We make sure that they adopt the right attitude towards the condition, which means that they shouldn’t let their lives be ruled by the condition but should learn to live with it and lead a normal life. They just need to take their condition into account but there is no reason why it should ever hold them back.”
What are the mental health implications of haemophilia?
“I think that patients don’t always understand that, although they have a physical condition, it can also have consequences for their mental health, and that these side-effects don’t mean that you have a mental health disorder, it’s just that you may experience unusual feelings and emotional distress at some point or other.”
Emotional symptoms are as important as physical symptoms:
“Just like everyone else, patients with haemophilia need to look after themselves both physically and emotionally. We are all both body and mind. They just need to be aware that the emotional symptoms of their condition are just as important as the physical symptoms.”
A psychologist will never judge you:
“When you go and see a psychologist, the most important thing to remember is that the psychologist is there to help you and will never judge you. You need to put your trust in them and speak openly about how you feel. That’s how they, and I for example, will be able to help. Patients need to trust and not feel they are being judged. They need to speak openly about what’s really going on.”
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