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Psychological morbidity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Depression, anxiety, hopelessness 

Psychological morbidity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Depression, anxiety, hopelessness
Chapter:
Psychological morbidity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Depression, anxiety, hopelessness
Author(s):

Dorothée Lulé

, Albert C. Ludolph

, and Andrea Kübler

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198757726.003.0003
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date: 22 February 2020

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a devastating condition with progressive loss of movement, speech, and respiratory function, and no available cure. Following the development of clinical symptoms and after receiving a diagnosis, patients may develop psychological morbidity, such as depression, anxiety, and hopelessness. However, many patients adjust successfully in the course of the disease and maintain good psychological well-being, so that a decline in psychological well-being does not necessarily accompany loss of physical function. There are several major determinants of good psychological adjustment to chronic and terminal disease—intrinsic factors such as coping strategies and internal locus of control, and extrinsic factors such as high (perceived and actual) social support by families and multidisciplinary professional teams. Providing care with a holistic view of the patient is probably the most effective approach to supporting patients’ psychosocial adjustment to the disease and minimizing depression, anxiety, and hopelessness.

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