Mental Health Disorders (Sickle Cell Disease)

Also known as: psychiatric disorders caused by SCD, psychological problems of SCD patients.

What are mental health disorders in SCD (sickle cell disease) patients?

As in other chronic diseases, people who have sickle cell disease may feel sad and frustrated at times. This can manifest itself in several different ways, including anxiety, depression and even psychosis over time.

What causes mental health distress in SCD patients?

The reasons for mental health issues among those with sickle cell disease can vary widely. In general, the pain (pain crises episodes) and issues related to the chronic (long term) symptoms of the condition can frequently have psychological effects on the patient.

What are the symptoms of mental health disorders in SCD patients?

The limitations that sickle cell disease can impose on a person’s daily activities may cause them to feel isolated from others. Sometimes they become depressed, anxious, fearful and stressed. People who have sickle cell disease may also have trouble coping with pain and fatigue, as well as with their frequent medical visits and hospitalizations.

What are the care options for mental health disorders in SCD patients?

Individuals who are experiencing the symptoms of depression or anxiety along with sickle cell disease should talk about their feelings and concerns with their health care team. Talking to a professional pediatric counselor also can help. If an individual feels very depressed, a doctor may recommend medications or other treatments that can improve quality of life.


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Archives of Medicine
Primary Psychiatry

Reviewed by: Athena C Pefkarou, MD

This page was last updated on: September 30, 2020 03:49 PM

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Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle cell disease is a group of familial red blood cell disorders. Sickle cell disease causes the red blood cells to be oddly shaped, and have difficulty flowing through the blood vessels properly which causes them to break up easily resulting in anemia and damage to the organs. Learn more


Depression is a common clinical condition that affects children and adolescent's mood and mental health. Clinical depression lasts for more than two weeks, and is severe enough to interfere with everyday living. Learn more


Psychotherapy is a form of therapy and counseling that is conducted by a mental health professional, for example a psychologist, a licensed mental health counselor, social worker or a psychiatrist. Learn more