Depression can be common with HS disease.
When you’re diagnosed with a serious health condition, you may feel anxious and nervous about the future, or even more than just a little overwhelmed—you might feel depressed.
According to psychiatrist Susan Samuels, MD, depression can be triggered by many things, but one common source is a chronic medical illness.
For example, the inflammatory skin condition hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) causes symptoms that make patients more vulnerable to depression. HS patients often feel physically ill, which can be exhausting and discouraging to experience regularly. HS skin cysts can also be quite visible, and it’s common and normal for patients to feel shameful or embarrassed. Medication for HS often has side effects that can make patients feel depressed.
Finally, like virtually all medical conditions, the daily challenges imposed by the illness can take a toll on the patient, leading them to feel chronically hopeless and unmotivated.
If you or someone you know appears to be depressed because of a chronic medical illness like HS disease, you may want to meet with a mental health professional. These experts are skilled at dealing with the emotions and stress involved in living with a chronic health condition. To reduce your symptoms of depression, mental health professionals can help you find effective and healthy ways to cope with your illness.
Dr. Samuels is an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry and clinical pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine and an assistant attending psychiatrist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.
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I'm Doctor Susan Samuels,
and I'm a psychiatrist at
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New York Presbyterian Hospital,
Weill Cornell Medical Center.
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I treat people with a whole host of mental
health concerns including things like
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anxiety and depression.
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So what we know about depression is
there can be pretty clear triggers,
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that trigger can be a medical illness.
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HS is one of those conditions where you
can have lots of moments during flares or
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you're physically feeling unwell.
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There's physical evidence of your flareup,
and sometimes even there
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are side effects to the medications
you're using to treat your flares.
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There is a difference between
just kind of feeling down and
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feeling depressed to the point
that you really should get help.
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So, you might notice if
you’re feeling down and
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depressed an overwhelming
sense of sadness.
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Not just the sadness that you've
felt from time to time before, but
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it is really overwhelming.
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And sometimes, people will sleep a little
bit more, eat a little bit more or less,
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not spend as much time with their friends,
not maybe even go to work at times.
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It maybe really important to speak to
a mental health professional about your
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coping with the emotional struggles
you're dealing with as it relates to HS.
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And a lot of times it's really important
to see a mental health professional to
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get that help that will sort
of round out the treatment.
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Mental health professional,
dermatologists, primary care doctors,
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can all be very helpful in dealing
with some of these reactions.
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And, it is important to not feel
embarrassed about asking for that help.
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