Every year on October 10, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes World Mental Health Day. In the words of the WHO, World Mental Health Day “is observed…with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.”
Many people easily recognize physical symptoms of cystic fibrosis (CF), but mental health is another element of living with CF that requires just as much attention and care.
It is not uncommon for those living with chronic disease to also live with anxiety and depression; in fact, it is estimated that up to one third of individuals with a serious medical condition will experience depression. It is one of the most common complications of a chronic illness like cystic fibrosis.
With World Mental Health Day approaching, we encourage our community to take some time to review the common symptoms of depression and anxiety and to reach out to your healthcare practitioner if you feel you’re experiencing them over a sustained period of time.
Common symptoms of depression
- Changes in weight/appetite
- Guilt, hopelessness or worthlessness
- Inability to concentrate, remember things or make decisions
- Fatigue/loss of energy
- Loss of interest in sex and other activities once enjoyed
- Sleep disturbances
- Restlessness or decreased activity
- Physical aches and pains with no medical cause
- Thoughts of suicide or death
Common symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Restlessness or feeling ‘keyed up’ or on edge
- Being easily fatigued
- Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
- Muscle tension
- Sleep disturbance such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless, unsatisfying sleep
Always remember you are not alone, and your healthcare team can help you connect with the right professionals to ensure every part of your health, including mental, is taken care of.