Does Myasthenia Gravis Cause Anxiety?

Myasthenia gravis refers to a long-term neuromuscular problem, which leads to varying levels of weakness in the skeletal muscle. Especially, it causes adverse effects on your face and eyes muscles, while create difficulty in swallowing. It even leads to dropping eyelids, double vision trouble in talking and walking. Onset of the condition is sudden, while affected individuals often have a big thymus or develop the problem of thymoma.

Does Myasthenia Gravis Cause Anxiety?

Does Myasthenia Gravis Cause Anxiety?

Anxiety Disorder In Patients With Myasthenia Gravis

Myasthenia Gravis is an autoimmune and chronic disease, which involves neuromuscular junctions and it has frequent association with symptoms, like ptosis, diplopia, loss of muscular strength and difficulty in swallowing food and taking breath. As a chronic disease, it has psychiatric consequences based on adaptation and coping.

Psychiatric morbidity often takes place in the form of anxiety disorders, like generalized anxiety disorders and panic disorders, along with depressive disorders. However, you will find only limited data related to the prevalence as well as etiology of any psychiatric symptoms in myasthenia gravis patients. Because of this, interaction between myasthenia gravis and psychiatric disorders requires appreciation, particularly in any primary care setting, as symptoms may often overlap.

Initially, doctors may under-recognize the problem of myasthenia gravis because its psychiatric symptoms often coincide with the symptoms of actual disease, like energy loss, fatigue and breathing shortness. On the other side, co-morbid psychiatric symptoms appearing during the course of illness are of true myasthenic symptoms, which result in unnecessary drug treatment.

Differentiation related to the etiology of myasthenia gravis symptoms may alter the choice of its treatment and hence, it affects the success rate of treatment and well-being of patients. Because of this, doctors and patients should discuss to plan psychiatric treatments carefully to avoid any risk related to aggravation of the underlying neurological disease.(1)

Facts On Occurrence Of The Disease

Myasthenia Gravis affects between 50 and 200 per million of individuals, while newly diagnosed between 3 and 30 per million of individuals yearly. Diagnosis of the problem has become common based on increased awareness of the disease. Myasthenia gravis mainly takes place in women below 40 years age, while in men below 60 years.

However, the problem is uncommon among children. Luckily, the disease is curable with proper treatment and hence, affected people have normal lives and life expectancy.

Myasthenia Gravis Symptoms

Patients suffering from Myasthenia Gravis often experience weakness in their voluntary skeletal muscles i.e. muscles, which remain under the control of individuals. Failure in muscular contraction in a normal way takes place because they are unable to respond to nerve impulses. Thus, inappropriate transmission of the impulse results in blockage of communication between muscles and nerves resulting in weakness. Weakness related to myasthenia gravis becomes worse typically with large numbers of activities you perform and improves with the numbers of rest to take rest. Key symptoms associated with myasthenia gravis include the following-

  • Difficulty in talking/speaking
  • Problems in walking upstairs and lifting of objects
  • Difficulty in breathing because of muscular weakness
  • Facial paralysis
  • Difficulty in chewing or swallowing of food
  • Hoarse voice and fatigue
  • Eyelids drooping
  • Double vision

Not every individual experience the same symptom and hence, the extent of muscle weakness changes with days ahead. Severity associated with one’s symptoms increases typically, if you left it untreated.(2)

Myasthenia Gravis is a type of autoimmune disease, as it results from various antibodies blocking or destroying nicotinic acetylcholine receptors at the junction between your muscle and nerves. In this way, it prevents impulses of the nerve to trigger muscle contractions. Babies of mothers suffering from myasthenia gravis may experience this symptom during their initial few months of life and hence, doctors call it neonatal myasthenia.


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