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Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment: Mind

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Psychological Health

Rheumatoid arthritis causes more than joint pain and limited mobility. It can also significantly affect a person's psychological well being. One of the common problems experienced by patients with chronic pain is depression.

A study shows that patients with rheumatoid arthritis are twice as likely to experience depression, but chances are, they don't talk to their doctors about it. Investigators of this study also found out that only one in five of the patients with arthritis and depression discussed it with their rheumatologists. According to the lead author, the patients do not talk to their doctors about depression because their arthritis is understandably the main focus.

Depression is a problem that should not be ignored because it may affect one's daily functioning and overall quality of life. If you experience depressive symptoms, don't hesitate to discuss it with your doctor. It is important to identify what has been contributing to your depression so that psychological therapy can be tailored to help you to cope with these stressors.

There are a variety of treatment options for depression and overcoming this health challenge is achievable. In addition to medications and psychological treatment, there are many things you can do that may help when you are feeling depressed. Below are some suggestions that you might consider

Outdoor exercise. Research shows that having some sort of contact with nature improves a person's mood and makes them feel less stressed. It was found that activities like walking in a park-like setting was more beneficial for mood and self-esteem compared to walking in a shopping center.

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Keep a journal. Writing down your feelings is among the best self-help techniques. It can be a good way to learn more about your thoughts, and it allows you to think about alternative solutions to your problems.

Take time out to relax. High level of stress and lack of relaxation can develop negative thinking that can later on lead to depression. People who neglect themselves become easily overwhelmed by different events happening in their life. This is the reason why people should learn to let go once in a while so they can handle their hectic lives again. It is a good idea to take some time off to engage in activities that you enjoy. Relaxation can help you cope with stress. If you get to relax periodically, you will fee refreshed you will be able to face the world with confidence and this helps you fight off depression.

References

http://www.hopkins-arthritis.org/patient-corner/disease-management/depression.html

Oxford textbook of rheumatology By David Alan Isenberg, Peter Maddison, Patricia Woo

http://www.beyondblue.org.au/index.aspx?link_id=89.586

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1 Comment

Posted 6 years ago

As mentioned, I went through a stage of depression, which I kept to myself. When it finally passed my family, who I fell out with due to my not wanting to speak to anyone, dismissed my depression as rubbish, even though I was in tremendous pain with multiple joints affected and full knee replacement impending. I had marital problems, so stayed with my brother and mother, 6 days before my operation he told me to leave, which brought my depression back. Luckily, a good friend and his wife took me in and has helped me through my difficult times. Without him and the love of my young children I would have been lost. My point is you can get through it but may need help. Sadly that help is not always there for some people. I was lucky.

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ritasharma 6 years ago

So powerful for you to share your experience. It helps others in the same situation know that they are not alone. Thanks for being so honest.

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