Depression and anxiety are common in SCD but relatively little is known about their impact on adults living with this disease. Studies have shown that these forms of mental health issues suffered by adults predict more daily pain and poorer physical and mental quality of life than those who have sickle cell but do not suffer from them.
For these individuals, the reasons for mental health issues can vary and in general, the pain and chronic symptoms of the disease can frequently cause anxiety and depression. The limitations that scd can impose on a person's daily activities may cause them to not only feel depressed but also feel fearful, anxious or stressed. They may also have trouble coping with the pain or frequent hospital visits and these are all contributory factors to the depression and anxiety they could suffer.
Living with any chronic illness can be devastating in itself and the distress that results from this is further exacerbated by other factors like a lack of social support, education levels, socioeconomic status and demography.
Sleep disturbance and depression are also commonly encountered in adult sickle cell and the prevalence of the former in terms of its effects on their quality of life is also unknown. However, further studies looking into this shows a correlation between sleep disturbance and depression among those who suffer from more frequent pain but additional studies are now needed to confirm these findings and to determine if treatments for pain, depression or sleep disturbance will improve quality of life. In the meantime and between time, treatment and medication aimed at addressing these issues could be recommended by doctors to manage the effects.