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Emotional Health

Mental Health and Quality of Life

Between chronic joint pain, frequent medical problems, and hospital visits, the aging bleeding disorders population is susceptible to mental health and emotional problems, including stress and depression. Aging with bleeding disorders may be accompanied by emotions of anger, fear, frustration, grief, and distress.

As you age, loss of strength and worsening joint ailments may mean an increased need for medical treatment and more frequent hospital visits. Physical challenges associated with aging and bleeding disorders include greater risk of falls and impaired daily activities, such as dressing, bathing, and use of transportation. The loss of independence that accompanies these life changes can impact mental health.


People with bleeding disorders have had to withstand the stigma associated with their disorders. Many older men with hemophilia have had to face the stigma of being infected with HIV or hepatitis C. As they age, many are able to reflect back on life lessons from living with a bleeding disorder and are able to pass on their experiences and knowledge to their children and grandchildren. Moreover, hemophilia treatment centers (HTCs) are becoming better equipped to assist patients in all aspects of their lives, as more studies are being conducted to understand the physical and mental health issues that impact this population.

If you are struggling with immobility, social isolation, or depression, you may find it helped to seek medical support from nurses, physical therapists, social workers, and occupational therapists at your HTC.


Triggers of stress among the aging bleeding disorders population are similar to those of the general population but with the added complication of having physical limitations and disabilities that are exacerbated with age. Similar to the general population, older people with bleeding disorders have several sources of stress, including those related to relationships, family, career and finances, and chronic pain.

The body’s natural response to stress is to release cortisol and other stress hormones, which increases risks for other health problems, including depression and heart disease. It is difficult to dissect the precise role that stress plays in heart disease relative to other underlying risk factors. In aging men with hemophilia, several different types of cardiovascular complications have been identified as comorbidities.

Due to both physical and mental health issues that can result from stress, it is important to find effective strategies for managing and minimizing stress. Stress intervention can be achieved through formal psychotherapy, medications, time management training, relaxation training, and regular exercise, all of which have been shown to improve a person’s morale and functioning.

The trained staff at an HTC can provide methods for coping with stress, including developing programs for good nutrition, encouraging healthy sleep habits, and personalizing fitness regimens.