Signs of Depression in Patients with Sjogren’s Syndrome

Signs of Depression in Patients with Sjogren’s Syndrome

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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Sjogren’s Syndrome News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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Özge has a MSc. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Leicester and a PhD in Developmental Biology from Queen Mary University of London. She worked as a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of Leicester for six years in the field of Behavioural Neurology before moving into science communication. She worked as the Research Communication Officer at a London based charity for almost two years.

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