Psychological aspects are identified as cognitive, emotional or behavioral dimensions of the individual experience.  For example, a person may experience problems with:

  • attention and memory or incongruence in beliefs (cognitive aspect)
  • anxiety or sadness (emotional aspect)
  • difficulties with social isolation and irritability leading to explosive manners (behavioral aspect)

This may lead to some degree of dysfunction and distress.   All of these psychological aspects can be well balanced when someone is living a fulfilled life, with good personal and external conditions.  Living a healthy lifestyle, with no underlying medical condition, is something we all would like to achieve.

Mast cell disorders may be very challenging for patients, regardless if they have few or multiple symptoms.  People affected by mast cell disease are often forced to modify conditions of their lifestyle including work and social activities, environment, nutrition, hobbies, etc.  The disease itself brings challenging physical symptoms that needs to be addressed and monitored, hopefully bringing relief or stabilization. 

In addition, mast cells are also known to be present in the brain, playing a role in emotional and cognitive systems, anxious-depressive symptoms, autistic spectrum disorders and in neurological diseases.  It is also reported that cognitive impairment and depression rates are relatively high in Mastocytosis patients1. In fact, it is possible that mast cells in the brain (and their chemicals released) are involved in some degree of neuropsychological modification impacting the patient's life, function and wellbeing2.  There are also facts to support that mast cell diseases, as in many other challenging medical condition, contribute to some degree of emotional, cognitive and behavioral distress or changes. 

Depending on where the patient is located in the course of the disease (pre-diagnosis and symptomatic, diagnosed and stabilized), there will be psychological impacts3.  Getting help, medical support and professional counseling are helpful in relieving emotionnal distress and in developing coping strategies while facing a mast cell disease diagnosis.

 

References

  1. Moura Ds, Sultan S, Georgin-Lavialle S, Barete S, Lortholary O, Gaillard R, Hermine O. (2012) Evidence for cognitive impairment in mastocytosis : prevalence, features and correlations to depression. PLoS ONE 7(6); e39468. doi:10.1371/journal.one.0039468  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3379977/
  2. Moura D, Georgin-Lavialle S, Gaillard R, Hermine O. (2014) Neuropsychological Features of Adult Mastocytosis.  Immunol Allergy Clin N Am 34: 407-422.  https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sophie_Georgin-Lavialle/publication/261762931_Neuropsychological_Features_of_Adult_Mastocytosis/links/00b7d53c440e89307c000000.pdf 
  3. Fennell, P.A. (2012). The Chronic Illness Workbook: Strategies and Solutions for Taking Back Your Life. Third Edition. Albany, NY: Albany Health Management Publishing.