Living with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) means dealing with a progressive disease that decreases physical abilities over time. Feelings of anger and sadness caused by an SMA diagnosis can lead to depression. Symptoms include a lack of interest in activities, loss of appetite, feelings of emptiness and irritability, oversleeping or insomnia, concentration problems and fatigue. If feelings of depression last longer than two weeks, contact a mental health professional. If you have thoughts of self-harm or suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255 or go online at suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
In the U.S., Medicare Part B helps cover the services of mental health counseling. Medicare Advantage can cover services not included in original Medicare. According to the Affordable Care Act, all health plans bought through the Health Insurance Marketplace at healthcare.gov must include coverage for mental health as an essential benefit. Private health insurance plans vary in mental health coverage, including workplace plans.
Yes, living with the stress of physical changes and future uncertainty caused by a spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) diagnosis and SMA symptoms can trigger anxiety in people living with the disease, their siblings, and their caregivers. Signs of anxiety include an inability to control thoughts, which may seem like they’re illogical. You may feel tense, worried, exhausted, and as if you are suffocating. Anxiety can cause symptoms such as sweating, trembling, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, and higher-than-usual blood pressure.