Learn about Depression and Anxiety
People with depression do not all have the same symptoms. Some people may experience all of the above symptoms while others may only have a few of the symptoms.
Thoughts about Suicide
Sometimes depression or anxiety can be too much to handle and you might start thinking about suicide.
These thoughts are serious and you need to discuss them with your health care provider:
We all have a lot of things to worry about in life. Anxiety is more than just being worried about regular stuff. At times, your worry may get in the way of doing things you normally would do or you may experience panic symptoms that stop you from doing your normal activities.
Symptoms of anxiety can include:
Sometimes anxiety can cause a panic attack. A panic attack is an event of extreme fear or discomfort that lasts more than 10 minutes and may include these symptoms:
Depression, Anxiety and CF
Depression and anxiety are common in CF and can disrupt your life. People with a chronic illness are more likely to have depression and anxiety than people without a chronic illness. In turn, depression and anxiety can then make it even harder to care for CF.
With CF, you have a lot of things to handle — from CF treatments and clinic appointments to eating the right foods and getting exercise. On top of these you might have concerns about your future. So it’s not surprising that research has shown that having any chronic illness puts people at higher risk for depression and anxiety.
Teenagers and Young Adults Are More at Risk
Certain people are at a higher risk for depression and anxiety. Teenagers and young adults are most at risk for having symptoms of depression and anxiety compared with younger children (under the age of 12) or adults over the age of 30. Women are more likely to feel depressed or anxious than men.
Depression and Anxiety Can Affect Your Health and Lower Your Quality of Life
Your health can be affected if you are depressed or anxious. Depression can make it harder to do CF treatments.
People who are depressed sometimes do not have the energy or motivation to take care of themselves. They have a hard time doing such things as following a healthy diet, exercising and managing their disease.
In addition, people who are depressed or anxious may have trouble focusing and remembering to do their treatments. Finally, depressed people may feel hopeless and think that doing their treatments will not help and they may stop doing them.
Symptoms of depression and anxiety can also lower your quality of life. A study showed that adults with CF who had moderate or severe lung disease and more symptoms of depression reported worse quality of life than those with moderate or severe lung disease and no symptoms of depression. In other words, depression can make living with CF a lot harder to handle.
You can read more about the association between depression, lung function and health-related quality of life among adults with CF in an article by Riekert KA, Bartlett SJ, Boyle MP, Krishnan JA, Rand CS. Chest. 2007. 132:231-237.