Depression and Sickle Cell Disease Essay

1766 WordsNov 9, 20148 Pages
Running head: RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DEPRESSION AND SICKLE CELL DISEASE Abstract This paper will examine and compare a sampling of recent research for findings describing a relationship between sickle cell disease (SCD) and depression. These studies represent a range of demographic characteristics, study metrics and geographic settings for the sample populations. Methods, limitations and conclusions of the studies along with significance and implications for an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse will be discussed. Introduction The Relationship between Depression and Sickle Cell Disease Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) and its adverse effects dominate and represent a large percentage of the genetically associated disease processes among my maternal family member’s. More often than not depression also accompanies SCD. Unfortunately many of my family members are not informed or presented with health care literature regarding the link between SCD and depression. The mainstay of the depressive symptoms often stems from the acute and chronic pain and fatigue associated with SCD. The ongoing dynamic amongst family members is to “suffer in silence” to avoid the stigma associated with depression and other mental health disorders. This internalization of symptoms is associated with low self-esteem, advanced or major depression, other chronic mental health disorders and suicide (Barakat, Simon, Patterson, & Dampier, 2009). According to the World Health Organization, more than 300,000 infants are born with SCD worldwide. In the United States, 1 in 500 African Americans (African and Mediterranean descent) and 1 in 36,000 Hispanic American are born with SCD. Comorbid conditions such as stress, anxiety and depression plague those diagnosed with SCD. Depression tends to occur at a rate of 18-27% in African Americans (Levenson, et al., 2008). These rates of

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