HomeHealth TopicDermatology

Hidradenitis Suppurativa: How to Cope Emotionally

Depression can be common with HS disease. In this video, learn more about how to cope emotionally with HS symptoms.

Lauren Smith, MAMera Goodman, MD, FAAP
Written by Lauren Smith, MA | Reviewed by Mera Goodman, MD, FAAP
Updated on December 21, 2020

When you’re diagnosed with a serious health condition, you may feel anxious and nervous about the future, or even more than just a little overwhelmed—you might feel depressed.

According to psychiatrist Susan Samuels, MD, depression can be triggered by many things, but one common source is a chronic medical illness.

For example, the inflammatory skin condition hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) causes symptoms that make patients more vulnerable to depression. HS patients often feel physically ill, which can be exhausting and discouraging to experience regularly. HS skin cysts can also be quite visible, and it’s common and normal for patients to feel shameful or embarrassed. Medication for HS often has side effects that can make patients feel depressed.

Finally, like virtually all medical conditions, the daily challenges imposed by the illness can take a toll on the patient, leading them to feel chronically hopeless and unmotivated.

If you or someone you know appears to be depressed because of a chronic medical illness like HS disease, you may want to meet with a mental health professional. These experts are skilled at dealing with the emotions and stress involved in living with a chronic health condition. To reduce your symptoms of depression, mental health professionals can help you find effective and healthy ways to cope with your illness.

Additional Medical Contributors
  • Susan Samuels, MDDr. Samuels is an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry and clinical pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine and an assistant attending psychiatrist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.
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