ALS Patients With Anxiety And Depression – Part 2

Coping With Depression

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis yields mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. In one study, “patients with ALS had a higher risk of depression diagnosis as well as antidepressant use than controls. The risk increase appeared to be greater among individuals at age 65 and older, whereas sex, educational level, and socioeconomic status did not seem to modify the associations greatly,” Dr. Fang Fang, MD, Ph.D and co-authors, discovered.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis people suffering from depression are not without hope. Occurrences of depression are temporary and are usually treatable.

Coping methodologies vary among different individuals. Treating depression is usually through dealing with the triggers, prescribing medication, and use of therapy. “Despite little depressive symptoms in ALS patients the fatal prognosis of the disease takes into account, depression and death anxiety influence each other and might be addressed together in pharmacological and especially psychotherapeutic interventions to the benefit of the patient. Medical professionals should not forget to offer sufficient support to caregivers tending patients affected by depression and death anxiety as they are likely to mirror their patient’s feelings,” Dr. Martin Tegenthoff and collaborators, wrote.

Dr. Jose Marques Lopes, Ph.D., said that “despite a lack of clinical evidence, complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) are often used by patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), sometimes in combination with conventional medications, according to a review study. With scarce evidence on the safety and effectiveness of CAM in ALS and the possible risks they pose, healthcare providers should be aware of these medicines and discuss their use with ALS patients, the study suggests.” Which drug is prescribed varies between people with ALS and is dependent upon several factors such as the individual’s medical history. For example, SSRIs might be prescribed if the person also has severe anxiety. Or tricyclic medication might be used so that the production of saliva would be minimized.


Once the medication is prescribed, it should be taken daily and on a regular schedule. Doctors usually prescribe low doses at the start. They then increase the dose steadily. Most medication is increased after one or two weeks. The drug usually takes several weeks to take effect.

Sometimes one type of medication may not work. The doctor may then add a different kind of drug or change the medication. People with ALS may be using the medicine for several months.

The use of a medication should not be suddenly stopped. Most doctors gradually stop medicines for several weeks. A doctor should be consulted first before stopping taking antidepressants.

Coping with depression also involves psychotherapy. Therapy is very successful in helping people with ALS on their distress. However, it requires that the person spends a lot of time on it and should be committed to it. Usually, the person with ALS will undergo therapy at the same time that they are prescribed medication.

Changes In Behavior


Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis patients may change their behavior. In some, these changes might hardly be noticeable. But in others, these changes may be severe.

These changes in behavior occur because Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis affects the brain. These changes might not happen at the start of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or if they do occur, they might not be noticed. The changes in behavior will become more noticeable over time, though.

It is not clearly understood why behavior changes occur in some individuals and not in others. Patients are usually tested psychologically to find out whether there have been changes in their cognitive functions. The tests try to find out if the person’s emotional makeup has changed if the person finds it harder to learn something new, and if the patient finds it harder to focus on more than one thing. But care should be taken to distinguish between behavior changes due to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and behavior changes due to stress.

When there are behavior changes, relatives might find it hard to help the patient cope. The severity of the changes in behavior will affect how they make decisions regarding the care of the patient.

Involuntary Expression Of Emotion


Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis sometimes involuntarily express emotions that do not reflect what they are feeling. They may cry when they are feeling happy or laugh when they are feeling sad. Sometimes they may rapidly cycle between laughter and crying. And these episodes can suddenly start and suddenly stop with no apparent reason what is triggering them.

What causes this condition is not bright, but many agree that injury to the brain can result in this condition. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis patients are not the only ones who have this condition. This condition can also be found among persons suffering from neurological diseases, such as MS or dementia. Stroke victims, as well as individuals whose brains encountered a traumatic injury, can also have this condition.

Fortunately, this condition is treatable. Nuedexta has been used to treat this disorder. Doctors have also used antidepressant medication to treat this syndrome even though it is not a sign of depression.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *