Sjogren’s syndrome is a rare autoimmune disease that affects glands producing secretions such as saliva and tears. It has been observed that a variety of factors can influence the personality and lead to psychological changes in patients affected by Sjogren’s syndrome.
It is important that such psychological changes are identified as early as possible. Here are some tips to identify signs of depression in Sjogren’s syndrome patients.
Decreased activity levels
Keep an eye out for changing interest in day-to-day activities. Is the patient showing reluctance or loss of interest in performing even common tasks? Does the patient prefer to rest continuously instead of participating in any kind of activity? If so, these could be the first signs of depression and must be addressed immediately.
Reduced therapy compliance
Depression can often lead to poor compliance with ongoing therapy, which can further worsen symptoms. If you notice that the patient is not interesting in taking medications or is indifferent toward them, consult their doctor as soon as possible.
Loss of work productivity
Sjogren’s syndrome patients often find it difficult to cope with the pressures of the workplace and may gradually show reduced productivity, which may even lead to unemployment. This can add to symptoms of depression.
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, make sure to inform the workplace human resources department so it they can take due cognizance and perform any necessary accomodations.
Increased physical and emotional fatigue
Fatigue is known to be the third-most prevalent symptom in Sjogren’s syndrome, with patients often experiencing physical and emotional fatigue. Emotional fatigue can occur as a result of anxiety and depression, leading to a feeling of hopelessness and failure as well as disturbed sleep.
Increased anger or irritability
Low tolerance levels and feelings of agitation are signs of depression. If you notice the patient getting agitated without reason at both things and people, you should consult their doctor immediately.
Increased suicidal tendencies
Depression can lead to a feeling of despair, loneliness, and hopelessness, resulting in a tendency toward hurting or killing oneself. If you find the patient talking about things such as the futility of life, or acting recklessly in a way that could put them in danger, consult a psychologist immediately.
Relying on alcohol or sedatives
An increased propensity toward alcohol and sedative intake is a common behavioral symptom of depression. Increased alcohol intake can result in adverse consequences such as further worsening of depression, heart problems, liver damage, and violent behavior.
Last updated: Oct. 12, 2019
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