Broadcasted from NACFC in Phoenix, this year's One-on-One Live was a discussion on mental health between Matt James, a 35-year-old with CF, and Anna Georgiopoulos, M.D., assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a member of the multidisciplinary CF care team at Massachusetts General Hospital. Matt posed questions -- of his own and those submitted by the CF community -- to Dr. Georgiopoulos about the recently published guidelines for screening and treating depression and anxiety in people with CF and family caregivers. The result was an eye-opening discussion about how to make emotional wellness a part of routine CF care.
I was struck by Matt's comment that many people with CF play down the emotional toll the disease takes when interacting with their care teams. He asked Dr. Georgiopoulos, "how effective can this screening be and how do you avoid that type of fooling mentality?” A great question on Matt's part. If you missed watching the session live, hear Dr. Georgiopoulos' response in the archived video below.
I think the discussion made it clear that depression and anxiety can be treated successfully, which is why working the screening and treatment of them into overall CF care -- and talking about them honestly -- is so important.