Can Scoliosis cause Mental Health Problems?

Scoliosis
Photo Credit: guvo59 from Pixabay

Scoliosis is a condition that results in a curved or twisted spine. This disorder typically shows itself in young children or teens but can show up at any point throughout a person’s life.

Cases of scoliosis can vary, some needing surgery or other treatment while others are minor enough to not need any treatment. But while the majority of those with scoliosis don’t have any physical pain, there may be emotional pain and mental health problems that need attention.

Potential Scoliosis-Related Mental Health Problems

One of the biggest mental health challenges those with scoliosis may face, especially teenagers, is struggling with their body image. In severe cases of scoliosis, a curved spine can result in a visibly deformed back, shoulders, and rib cage. This can sometimes result in challenges with body image—when someone doesn’t feel completely comfortable about the way their body looks, they can feel stressed and anxious. While this isn’t the case for everyone with scoliosis, it’s not uncommon.

If someone with scoliosis has to wear a brace, they may also face mental health issues. Having to wear a brace can result in teasing, which can lead to increased self-consciousness. Teenagers especially may feel different from their peers and worry about what their friends will think about their situation.

A scoliosis diagnosis can result in overall depression and anxiety, too. When someone has to deal with looking and feeling different than their peers, has trouble coping in general, or refuses to accept their diagnosis and treatment options, this can lead to mental health problems.

Fortunately, treatment options for scoliosis have come a long way over the past several years. Surgery to fix scoliosis is an option for some but others can benefit from a good brace and the right fitness program.

Establishments like Scoliosis Systems offer a comprehensive care plan that involves a personalized treatment recommendation—receiving the right treatment can make a big difference in not only the physical wellbeing of those with scoliosis but the mental wellbeing, too.

Know The Common Warning Signs

It’s not always easy to tell if someone is struggling with mental health problems, but there are a few common warning signs you can keep an eye out for. Anger and irritability are often seen in those struggling with depression or anxiety—while everyone suffers from mood swings every now and then, frequent expressions of anger are a sign of trouble.

Additionally, people may seem more tired than usual, less interested in their hobbies, and even eating less. Mental health problems may show themselves differently in people, but these are some common warning signs that should be addressed.

When Should You Seek Help?

Treating the physical aspects of scoliosis is only the first step—treating mental health problems is just as important. If someone with scoliosis is really struggling with mental health problems, it may be time to seek professional help. While a little sadness and anger are to be expected with a scoliosis diagnosis, those who are partaking in reckless behavior, like drinking or drugs, or those who are talking about harming themselves should seek professional help immediately.

Looking into local therapists can prove to be beneficial for someone who is struggling with mental health problems. Therapists can help with a variety of scoliosis-related mental health struggles, including a lack of confidence, bullying, general depression, and even fear of surgery or other treatments. Finding the right therapist can make a huge difference in the mental health of someone struggling to cope with their scoliosis.

Scoliosis can be a challenging condition and everyone handles it differently. But because mental health problems are common in those diagnosed with scoliosis, it’s important to keep warning signs in mind and know when to seek both physical and mental treatment.

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Mental Health Problems?

4 thoughts on “Can Scoliosis cause Mental Health Problems?

  1. I am a 63-year-old man who grew up with minor postural issues. My scoliosis didn’t affect being in active with its mostly manageable pain. in the past five years the scoliosis has increased curvature to the point that I’ve lost an inch and a half of height. but what’s most important for me to communicate here is the excruciating pain felt from an aging spine. I have severe arthritis disc degeneration disease and a whole lot of other fancy words indicating nerve impingement from the curvature. I’m considering back surgery as my life has change to being mostly immobile. I want to remind you and The readers that scoliosis often gets ignored with age, yet pain increases slowly as disks deteriorate and bone density decreases.

  2. I suffer from congenital scoliosis and suffer daily pain. Monthly cycles are a special form of torture. I searched for this article and am disappointed. Pain! Underlying pain from scoliosis causes emotional issues that cause mental issues! Please talk about all of it and not that we care about the stress of our appearance. Boo!

    1. Hi Holly, I’m really sorry to learn of your health issue with scoliosis. It is a topic that requires MUCH MORE info than that included in this very brief article on the topic. Thanks for your comment. – g

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