September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day. Statistics Canada reports that in 2009 alone, there were about 100,000 years of potential life lost to Canadians under the age of 75 as a result of suicides. Suicide is a major cause of premature and preventable death.
The Statistics Canada website states:
Research shows that mental illness is the most important risk factor for suicide; and that more than 90% of people who commit suicide have a mental or addictive disorder. Depression is the most common illness among those who die from suicide, with approximately 60% suffering from this condition. No single determinant, including mental illness, is enough on its own to cause a suicide. Rather, suicide typically results from the interaction of many factors, for example: mental illness, marital breakdown, financial hardship, deteriorating physical health, a major loss, or a lack of social support.
People living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are twice as likely as the rest of the population to experience depression. The following are possible reasons depression occurs in people with RA:
You’ve got a friend in Molly. Across the different types of arthritis, women have reported that relationships and social and leisure activities have been impacted by their disease, resulting in high levels of depression and anxiety. Body image and self-esteem were also found to be significantly affected by arthritis.
To combat these emotional stresses, it’s important that women living with arthritis maintain healthy relationships. While this may be challenging at times, having a network of supportive friends and family can help a woman through bad times with her disease and make it easier to overcome some of her day-to-day emotional and physical hurdles.
Arthritis Consumer Expert’s own mascot Molly is a perfect example of a good friend. She enjoys daily conversations with her two stuffed toy pals, helps us greet visitors, and sheds happiness in the office. To learn more about the importance of healthy communication within the family, please read our January 2007’s issue of JointHealth™ Monthly.
A recent study looked at the relationship between rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and depression. The study found that men with rheumatoid arthritis reported having feelings of worthlessness and emptiness. Also, men were five times more likely to die within the next year than women with RA .
It makes sense that living with chronic pain, and potential disability, can make you feel helpless and hopeless.
Generally speaking men are less likely to seek help, therefore, it is important for men with RA to be aware of their emotions and be willing to speak to a doctor about them.
This study was just recently presented at the American College of Rheumatology’s (ACR) annual general meeting. It builds on a wealth of evidence that depression is a significant factor for poor health outcomes, especially in people with RA.
Read more: Traci Pederson, Psych Central, Novemebr 14, 2012