Depression and anxiety in people with epilepsy: Why should we identify?

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Summary

Introduction. People with epilepsy (PWE) have a higher risk of developing depression and anxiety than people without epilepsy. However, understanding and management of that issue remain under-recognized.

Aim. To emphesize: a) the relationship between depression, anxiety, and epilepsy, and b) to suggest practical strategies for their identification by clinicians.

Methods. The current literatures was reviewed investigating the impact of depression and anxiety in PWE and those examining the validity of simple screening tools for the detection of depression and anxiety.

Review. Approximately one quarter of PWE have been known to be suffered from depression. The frequency of depression and anxiety was closely related to poor seizure control. Depression and anxiety have been reported to have a bidirectional relationship with epilepsy. The higher degree of depression and anxiety was more likely to elicit the suicidal ideation and attempt, adverse events and poor compliance of antiepileptic drugs, poor surgical outcome, and eventually, poor quality of life. Furthermore, depression and anxiety were closely associated with perceived stigma, obsessive-compulsive symptom, aggression, fatigue, and perceived stress.

Conclusions. Clinicians who take care of PWE in a busy clinical setting should identify their psychiatric problems by brief screening tools and treat them instantly to minimize their negative impacts.

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