If you’re experiencing anxiety or depression, you’re not alone. According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation®, people with cystic fibrosis (CF) are two to three times more likely to experience anxiety or depression (or both) compared to the general population. Caregivers, especially parents of children with CF, can also be affected.1
Taking care of your mental health is just as important as treating your physical symptoms. If left untreated, depression and anxiety can make it difficult to manage your condition and follow your treatment plan. This may lead to:
- Worse lung function
- Lower body mass index (BMI)
- More hospitalizations
- Higher health care costs
- Poor quality of life
Depression is a medical illness that affects the way you think, feel and act. It is not the same as feeling sadness because something bad has happened. Without treatment, it can last indefinitely and lead to feelings of hopelessness and loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy.
Anxiety is a natural response to concerns over your health, relationships, work, finances or other aspects of your life. It typically comes and goes. An anxiety disorder is when it doesn’t go away and interferes with daily life.
If you’re experiencing anxiety or depression, it’s important to get help. Talk to your doctor or CVS Specialty CF CareTeam about your concerns. Your doctor can help you decide how best to take care of your mental health, which may include medications or a referral to a counselor or other mental health professional.
There are also changes you can make to improve your mental health and help keep depression and anxiety from getting worse:
- Stay connected; depression tends to make people withdraw, so it’s important to keep up your relationships with family and friends
- Spend time with people who lift your spirits
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes
- Get enough sleep
- Practice relaxation techniques
- Try a support group
Remember, your CareTeam is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer your questions, help with your medication, connect you to potential financial resources, and help you find support in your community. Call 1-866-845-6790.