Introduction: Diagnosis with facial palsy (FP) has been linked to increased psychosocial distress and communication disorders, but limited data exist on the temporal development of depression and anxiety after diagnosis. In a large cohort of FP patients, we characterize the rates of depression and anxiety at several timepoints post-FP diagnosis. Methods: A de-identified database of all FP patients who presented to a single healthcare system over 22 years was created using Epic SlicerDicer. Demographics and comorbidities were collected and depression and anxiety diagnosis rates at three timepoints (non-inclusive lower bounds) post-FP diagnosis were examined. Results: 3,910 FP patients were identified, with a median age of 59. 56% were female and 51% were white. At 0-6, 6-12-, and 12-36-month post-FP diagnosis, 156 (4%), 58 (1.4%), and 205 (5.2%) individuals were diagnosed with depression, and 171 (4.4%), 84 (2.1%), and 237 (6.1%) were diagnosed with anxiety. At each time point, the median time between FP and depression diagnosis (2.1, 3.4, and 11.4 months) or anxiety diagnosis (2.5, 4.0, and 11.1 months) was similar. Dual depression and anxiety diagnoses were observed in 52 (1.3%), 32 (0.8%), and 122 (3.1%) patients at each time point. Compared to the overall cohort, more patients with anxiety were female (65 vs. 56%, p < 0.001) and younger (57 vs. 59, p = 0.002), and more depressed patients were Black (7.3 vs. 3.3%, p = 0.02). Conclusions: Facial palsy may lead to increased risk of depression and/or anxiety in the first year after diagnosis as demonstrated here in one of the largest FP cohorts to date. We report high rates of depression (5.5%), anxiety (6.5%), and comorbid depression and anxiety (2.1%) occurring within 1 year after FP diagnosis. Of these, the majority occurred within the first 6 months (72%, 67%, 62%, respectively). Anxiety was more common in young female patients and depression more common in Black patients, which can inform targeted mental health resources within the first 6 months post-FP diagnosis.

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