Psychiatric conditions in Behçet’s
Psychiatric conditions occur only very rarely in Behçet’s syndrome, when parts of the brain which look after emotion and thought are affected by the meningoencephalitis noted above. Occasionally patients may present with hallucinations, and abnormal thoughts such as paranoia, and difficulty thinking and remembering. This is most uncommon and normally settles down well with the correct treatment.
Separate to this is the syndrome of fatigue, anxiety and depression which can also cause thinking and memory problems, but which is not related to a problem within the brain. This, in contrast, is very much more common, not just in Behçet’s syndrome but in most chronic and difficult conditions. This is not surprising, but some Doctors, even GPs, fail to recognise this and I have found that this is frustrating to patients. It has been shown that patients with Behçet’s syndrome show higher ratings on depression and anxiety scores, and that these scores vary with the severity of the underlying illness. So-called fibromyalgia symptoms (aches and pains with tiredness) also correlate with how the Behçet’s is behaving, but it is also true that the symptoms of anxiety and depression can make the Behçet’s feel worse when it is not actually in relapse. So it is a very complicated problem. Fatigue management and a positive outlook to the disease are best. Avoidance of overtiredness and planning of the day, to allow rest before and after an activity, work well, and most find that fatigue improves and memory becomes more efficient. It’s easy for Doctors to prescribe and hard for the patients to do!
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Psychiatric conditions in Behçet’s
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