Cerebral Palsy and Mental Health

The stresses of everyday life can be made more stressful and overwhelming when accompanied by Cerebral Palsy or similar condition(s).  Many individuals with CP are more shy in social situations out of fear or teasing or bullying.  A variety of mental health conditions can result, most commonly depression and anxiety disorders.

A study revealed that CP adults tend to participate less in social interactions, employment, marriage and independent living than the overall population.

Early signs of depression are:

  • Not sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Not eating or eating too much (binge-eating)
  • Talking about death and/or self-harming
  • Reduced or no desire to complete activities that once brought enjoyment

Early signs of anxiety are:

  • Rapid heart beat
  • Being “jumpy” or unable to sit still
  • Dizziness, shakiness, excessive sweating or nausea
  • Avoiding doing things involving other people or unfamiliar places
  • Being overly worried about small things

Adults with CP are still at risk of developing any other mental health conditions.  Unfortunately, because CP is such a physically pronounced condition, mental and emotional health conditions can be overlooked during exams.

Author: bforberg

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