- 20 percent of teenagers will experience depression before they reach adulthood
- Young patients with chronic liver conditions are at higher depression, anxiety risk
- Greater attention needed to monitor mental health of young patients with liver conditions
Young people with chronic illness have increased rate of mental health problems than the general population.
Many teens and adults with chronic liver conditions suffer from depression and anxiety. The findings indicate that greater attention should be directed to the mental health of the young patients with liver condition.
187 patients aged 16 to 25 years who were attending an outpatient liver transition clinic in London were asked to complete an electronically-administered questionnaire. Study participants were divided into three groups:
- Those who had undergone liver transplantation,
- Those with autoimmune liver disease,
- Those with other chronic liver conditions.
17.7% of the patients in the study screened positive for anxiety or depression
Patients' distress was attributed to fatigue, sleep difficulties, financial concerns, problems at work/school, worry, and low self-esteem.
Depression and anxiety did not have a significant relationship with patients' perceived understanding of their illness or their beliefs as to how much treatment can help.
There were no significant differences between disease groups.
Facts on Depression and Anxiety Disorders in Teenagers
- 1 in 6 young people will experience anxiety at some point in their lives
- Depression and anxiety increase suicide risk by 12 times
- Generalized anxiety disorders (GADs) affect about 3.1% American adults aged 18 years and older
- 30 percent of depressed teens develop substance abuse problems
The findings are published in Liver Transplantation.