Hyperhidrosis is linked to anxiety and depression

Hyperhidrosis is linked to anxiety and depression

Sweating is a typical reaction of the body to reduce its temperature due to physical exertion or warm environment, or to help adapt to emotional circumstances. But in some cases, people with overactive glands tend to sweat excessively, causing significant distress to their personal and occupational life.

Hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes people to sweat excessively and erratically, regardless of a positive ecological setting or a serene atmosphere. The word is derived from two different words, too much (hyper) and sweating (hidrosis). As estimated by Dee Anna Glaser, M.D., professor of dermatology at Saint Louis University, approximately 7.8 million people in the United States endure hyperhidrosis. Furthermore, what aggravates the plight of people experiencing uncontrollable sweating is that the condition is usually followed by a change in one’s physical and emotional state, giving birth to symptoms of anxiety and depression.

The condition often appears in childhood or adolescence and can intensify depending upon one’s body type and areas. However, the most commonly affected body parts are the palmar and plantar regions, followed by the axillary and craniofacial zones. A study published by the American Academy of Dermatology Association has established the prevalence of anxiety and depression in a hyperhidrosis severity-dependent manner.

An individual may suffer from profuse sweating on underarms, palms, soles and the face. A past study highlighted that in axillary hyperhidrosis, sweating affects daily activities leading to impaired emotional, occupational, psychological, social and physical settings. Subsequently, the embarrassment and discomfort caused by wet handshakes, damaged shirts, papers and shoes is often accompanied by stress and other psychological problems that may last a lifetime.

Excess sweating affects mental health

For people living with hyperhidrosis, lack of confidence and self-esteem can highly underrate their quality of life. It is quite common for them to feel self-conscious or avoid social activities in order to camouflage their embarrassment. Performing even mundane tasks such as raising hand in class to answer a question or introducing themselves with a handshake become unmanageable.

Lead researcher of a study, Rayeheh Bahar, from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and colleagues scrutinized more than 2000 patients afflicted with anxiety and depression for symptoms of hyperhidrosis, using Patient Health Questionnaire-9 and Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 scales. The prevalence of anxiety was found to be 21.3 percent while depression was 27.2 percent in patients with hyperhidrosis, compared with 7.5 percent and 9.7 percent respectively, in patients without hyperhidrosis. The researchers established a positive association between hyperhidrosis and existence of anxiety and depression.

Anxiety disorders affect 18.1 percent of American adults in a given year and approximately, 4 percent cases are classified as severe. On the other hand, major depression remains to be one of the most common mental disorders affecting people of the United States. It is important to address the causes and devise new strategies to address the issues in time.

Seek professional guidance to improve mental health

Mental health issues affect millions of people globally. Many people continue to suffer either because they cannot access health care services or fear the stigma of being marginalized. It is important to seek professional help without delaying the matter and prevent aggravating the problem. A trained psychiatrist can suggest the best course of treatment for holistic recovery.

If you know someone who is struggling with a mental health issue like anxiety or depression, contact the Texas Mental Health Recovery Helpline representatives, who can assist you or your loved one in getting relevant information about the finest mental health clinic in Texas. Chat online or call our 24/7 helpline 866-596-4708 to get details about evidence-based mental health treatment centers in Texas.

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