Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) classically consists of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s
disease, which are typically characterized by progressive cyclical attacks of abdominal pain, diarrhea
and fatigue. Other highly prevalent clinical features of IBD include psychiatric disorders such as
mood and anxiety, which may occur in 60-80% of patients during relapse. Stressful live events seem
to precipitate IBD diagnosis, and are related to a significantly increased risk of disease relapse.
Alternatively, an IBD diagnosis itself is associated with an increased risk for the development of
anxiety and depression. These conditions lead to significantly worsened prognosis, increased risk of relapse, increased
healthcare utilization, and decreased quality of life. Risk factors known to predict anxiety and depression in patients with
IBD include female gender, presence of other medical comorbidities, severe and active disease, and socioeconomic
deprivation. Thus, increased clinical suspicion for comorbid mood or anxiety disorders must be made once a diagnosis of
inflammatory bowel disease is established, with appropriate followup. This review summarizes the literature regarding the
relationship between IBD and the development of psychiatric disorders.