People living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are twice as likely as the rest of the population to feel depressed. An important thing to understand is that it is NOT your fault you are depressed, therefore, YOU are not making your RA worse. It is natural to feel anxious or sad as a result of the diagnosis and to be depressed as a symptom of the disease. Instead, realise that it just demonstrates that rheumatoid arthritis is a complex condition that may require multiple levels of treatment; and, that an important strategy for reducing the pain of arthritis is treating your depression. Two approaches can be used, non-pharmacological and pharmacological, together or individually.
Separate from improving mood, antidepressants have been shown to reduce pain in many different chronic conditions, including arthritis, and they work even when depression is not a factor. How these drugs work to reduce pain is not fully understood, but may have to do with improving sleep, relaxing muscles, or increasing neurotransmitters in the spinal cord that are responsible for lessening pain signals.
Please consult your doctor to discuss your treatment options.
There are many strategies you can try, which you may find useful for helping you to avoid or alleviate depression without using drugs. No matter what suggestions you decide will work best for you, we recommend you speak with your doctor or therapist before getting started: Continue reading →
A recent study from McMaster University found that middle-aged adults living with a combination of arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, and/or depression are more likely to experience disability and limited involvement in society.
The research was conducted by Lauren Griffith, an associate professor in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatics and the McLaughlin Foundation Professorship in Population and Public Health. Researchers from McMaster University published the study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. They found that physical and mental chronic diseases, alone or in combination, were associated with disability and reduced social participation. The results differed by gender and age. Continue reading →
The European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) has published updated recommendations on the management of fibromyalgia. The detailed recommendations can be found in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized primarily by chronic widespread pain (CWP) in the muscles, ligaments and tendons, and a heightened sensitivity to touch resulting in pain that can last for months.
A new study from the University of Toronto found that people living with arthritis are 46 percent more likely to attempt suicide than those living without arthritis.
In the study, researchers looked at factors associated with ever having attempted suicide in a sample of 4,885 patients with arthritis across Canada and 16,859 patients without arthritis. All the data were collected from the 2012 Canadian Health Survey-Mental Health. The research found that: Continue reading →
Rheumatoid arthritis can increase the chances of depression; depression may worsen RA symptoms, leading to higher disease activity and disability, which in turn can lead to depression. Several studies have indicated that depression in those with rheumatoid arthritis is linked to greater joint pain and other symptoms of RA such as fatigue and sleep disturbances, decreased immune function, and a higher mortality rate. Untreated depression may cause you to be less likely to take care of yourself, less motivated to stick to a treatment plan, more likely to isolate yourself from friends and family and avoid activities you once enjoyed.
It is estimated that people living with RA are twice as likely to suffer from depression. Research shows that approximately 13 to 20 percent of the population currently living with RA are already depressed. A study published in the Rheumatology medical journal states that women living with RA are almost twice as likely to have suicidal thoughts and commit suicide.
“Many people with suicidal thoughts brought on by chronic illness will not come out right and say what they are thinking,” said Thea Barrieau, a SeniorBridge Care Manager. If you are concerned that someone you know are having suicidal thoughts, look out for the following suicidal warning signs and seek help from a medical professional:
Gathering friends and family “one last time” or “to say goodbye”.
Verbal or physical signs that allude to an inability to “cope” with the chronic illness, giving up, or a lack of motivation to do everyday and new tasks.
Skipping medication dosages or trying a new medication regimen.
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According to a new study, mental health problems like anxiety and depression may explain why people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. According to the study, anger, anxiety, depressive symptoms, job stress and low social support was linked to increasing risk of hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis for people with RA.
In the study, Dr. Jon T. Giles of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City and team compared 195 patients with RA and no history of heart problems to more than 1,000 similar adults without arthritis. Study participants with RA had more depressive symptoms, higher personal (such as caring for a loved one) and health stress, higher job stress and lower relationship stress. These listed psychosocial problems, on top of higher anxiety scores and anger scores, were associated with increased odds of coronary artery calcium. Furthermore, job stress increased the risk of plaque in the carotid artery in the neck, which helps supply blood to the brain. In the comparison group, there was no relation between the aforementioned psychosocial factors and artery calcium. Continue reading →