What is depression?

Estimates for depression disorders in people with IBD was 15.2% while the percentage was higher at 21.6% for people who reported experiencing symptoms of depression.

Symptoms were higher in people with Crohn’s disease compared to those with colitis. Symptoms were also higher in those with active disease compared to those in disease remission.  

Anxiety and depression are common in IBD, especially during flares or active disease. There are many ways to help manage this that will be covered in this section. 

Back to top

Symptoms of depression

Cognitive, psychological and emotional symptoms of depression include: 

  • Sadness

  • Hopelessness

  • Anger

  • Discouragement

  • Guilt

  • Worthlessness

  • Lack of energy

  • Lack of motivation

  • Loss of interest in enjoyable activities

  • Trouble concentrating

  • Slowing of movement

  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviours

Physical symptoms of depression include:

  • Insomnia or hypersomnia (not being able to sleep versus not being able to stay awake)

  • Increase or decrease in appetite

Back to top

Overlap between depression and anxiety

It is common to experience both symptoms of anxiety and depression, and it’s not unusual for people to live with both conditions. But there are some distinguishing features between depression and anxiety. 

People with depression tend to move more slowly and have dulled reactions, whereas people with anxiety are often more active or agitated, as they deal with their racing thoughts.

People with depression are less likely to worry about the future and believe their life won’t turn around. People with anxiety are worried about the future and how they can change it.

Back to top

When to seek help

Usually, a person can be diagnosed with depression if they are experiencing symptoms that interfere with normal functioning on most days for at least two weeks. If you feel like your depression symptoms are persistent, excessive, ongoing, or interfering with everyday life, it’s time to see a health care provider.

Back to top

In This Section

Back to IBD Journey