Ierasts, ka ar hemofiliju slimo vienīgi vīrieši, bet sievietes ir tikai šī ģenētiskā defekta nesējas. Tomēr ne vienmēr tā ir – arī sievietēm mēdz būt veselības problēmas, ko izraisa hemofilija.
Haemophilia is a chronic illness. Chronic illnesses are associated with long lasting health complications and limited treatment options. This means they have an impact on a patient's mental state and can lead to serious mental problems, such as depression.
When discussing the complications of a disease, we usually mean physical complications. However, we shouldn't forget psychical complications, as they often accompany chronic illnesses. Experts estimate that one third of patients with serious health issues develop signs of depression.
There are several reasons
It is not difficult to pinpoint reasons why the human psyche responds to the presence of a long term illness with depression. Some of the reasons include:
- Limited treatability of the illness
- Long lasting, bothersome health issues
- Necessary limitations on regular activities
A more common occurrence
While the risk of developing depression reaches around 10 to 25 % for women and 5 to 12 % in the general population, the number rises to 25–33 % for chronically ill people. The risk is higher for people who have been depressed before. There is a definite connection between depression and severity of a background disease or the impact it has on normal life.
Do not overlook warning signs
Depression can worsen the symptoms of the concomitant chronic disease, especially when it comes to feeling pain and tiredness. People with depression usually limit contact with their surroundings, adding more negative effects to both physical and mental well-being. Signs of depression are often overlooked by people around the patient and they are masked by the chronic illness. When the physical symptoms are managed, the mental symptoms become apparent. Some of them include:
- Feeling permanently “low”
- Loss of interest and no enjoyment of activities
- Inability to decide, difficulty to focus
- Slower movement, monotonous, silent speech and expressions
- Lower self-confidence
- Feeling hopeless, guilty, persistent thoughts about death
- Pessimistic view on future
- Tiredness after even a minor exertion
- Weight loss or on the contrary weight gain or unusually increased appetite
- Difficulty sleeping or an increased need to sleep
- Waking up early in the morning
- Loss of sexual desire
If you notice these symptoms in yourself or anyone close to you, make sure you contact a specialist. Your general practitioner or even your haematology specialist could help you find one.