Is depression a factor in rheumatoid arthritis?

Are people with rheumatoid arthritis more likely to experience depression?

Depression and rheumatoid arthritis are often accompanied by each other. This is a known fact, but people with rheumatoid arthritis are often not screened for depression. Therefore, it might not be diagnosed and treated. Research shows that depression associated with rheumatoidarthritis can lead to a decrease in effectiveness of treatment.

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It is not clear if people suffering from rheumatoid are experiencing depression or anxiety as a result of their physical symptoms. Or if depression is another symptom of the chronic, systemic inflammation that is rheumatoid.

Researchers think that those who have had depression prior to the onset rheumatoidarthritis treatment may respond less well. To determine the exact relationship between arthritis and depression, more research is required. If depression is not treated, it can lead to:

  • Greater pain
  • Greater chance of heart attack and cardiovascular disease
  • Workplace productivity loss
  • Increased chance of economic hardship
  • Friendships and relationships with family and friends are at risk
  • Sexual dysfunction

It is well-known that patients with rheumatoid and depression often respond better when they are treated together.

While different medications might be prescribed for rheumatoid and depressive disorders, there are many things that can be done to address both the emotional and physical effects.

  • Regular exercise
  • Stress management techniques
  • Support groups and friends who are familiar with both conditions will be able to help.

All types of arthritis have a high rate of anxiety and depression. Talk to your doctor if you feel depressed, or worried about developing depression after being diagnosed with rheumatoid. Depression and rheumatoidarthia can be treated with medication, support, and a personal plan of action.


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