Mental Health Matters
Mental health problems are very common in people with arthritis. Living with chronic pain can affect a person’s mood as it is physically and emotionally stressful. Stress, anxiety, and depression can worsen arthritis symptoms and pain, and likewise, the other way around. Untreated mental health related issues may lead to further complications and long-term negative effects.
Taking care of yourself and maintaining good mental health can help you prepare for life’s challenging moments. It is important that people with arthritis identify and recognize early warning signs and get help. Below are some frequently asked questions, related articles, and more.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the relationship between arthritis and anxiety and depression?
There is evidence that a complex underlying relationship exists between arthritis and psychiatric complications that is largely driven by inflammation. The pain, disability, and disease activity in arthritis are associated with the onset of anxiety and depression. At the same time, having anxiety and depression also negatively impacts disease activity in arthritis, along with treatment adherence and quality of life.
How common is anxiety and depression in people with arthritis?
Anxiety and depression are very common in people with arthritis. In rheumatoid arthritis, research has shown that up to 38% of patients experience depression and up to 70% experience anxiety. In lupus, up to 30% of patients experience depression and up to 40% experience anxiety. Research has shown high proportions of patients with psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and gout experiencing anxiety and depression as well.
How does living with arthritis affect mental health?
Living with arthritis affects mental health as the pain, disability, and disease activity in arthritis have been shown to be linked to the onset of anxiety and depression.
Do depression and anxiety make arthritis symptoms worse?
Yes, having anxiety and depression negatively impacts disease activity in arthritis, along with treatment adherence and quality of life.
Related Research Publications & Articles
Depression as a Risk Factor for the Development of Psoriasis: A Retrospective Cohort Study in the UK
I.A. Vallerand R.T. Lewinson L.M. Parsons M.W. Lowerison S.B. Patten C. Barnabe
Depression as a Risk Factor for the Development of Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Population-Based Cohort Study
Isabelle A Vallerand, Ryan T Lewinson, Alexandra D Frolkis, Mark W Lowerison, Gilaad G Kaplan, Mark G Swain, Andrew G M Bulloch, Scott B Patten, Cheryl Barnabe
Specific Manifestations of Knee Osteoarthritis Predict Depression and Anxiety Years in the Future: Vancouver Longitudinal Study of Early Knee Osteoarthritis
Eric C. Sayre, John M. Esdaile, Jacek A. Kopec, Joel Singer, Hubert Wong, Anona Thorne, Ali Guermazi, Savvas Nicolaou & Jolanda Cibere
Protocol for a Partially Nested Randomised Controlled Trial to Evaluate the Effectiveness of the Scleroderma Patient-Centered Intervention Network COVID-19 Home-Isolation Activities Together (SPIN-CHAT) Program to Reduce Anxiety Among At-Risk Scleroderma Patients
Brett D Thombs, Linda Kwakkenbos, Marie-Eve Carrier, Angelica Bourgeault, Lydia Tao, Sami Harb, Maria Gagarine, Danielle Rice, Laura Bustamante, Kelsey Ellis, Delaney Duchek, Yin Wu, Parash Mani Bhandari, Dipika Neupane, Andrea Carboni-Jiménez, Richard S Henry, Ankur Krishnan, Ying Sun, Brooke Levis, Chen He, Kimberly A Turner, Andrea Benedetti, Nicole Culos-Reed, Ghassan El-Baalbaki, Shannon Hebblethwaite, Susan J Bartlett, Laura Dyas, Scott Patten, John Varga, Scleroderma Patient-centered Intervention Network (SPIN) COVID-19 Patient Advisory Team; SPIN Investigators
Crisis Services Canada - Call 1.833.456.4566 or Send a Text to 45645
Government of Canada
Infographics - Early Results from Dr. Mary De Vera's UNIFIED Study (as of July 2020).
Arthritis Wellness Conversations
Arthritis Wellness Conversations - Ep.3: Anxiety and Depression in People with Arthritis
Listen to this episode of Arthritis Wellness Conversations. Sandra Sova, host of Chronic Wellness Radio is joined by members of our Patient Advisory Board and expert guest, Dr. Mary De Vera, Research Scientist at Arthritis Research Canada. They talk openly about anxiety and depression in people with arthritis. Patient advisors share their experiences with mental health challenges and tips for managing emotional well-being.
Arthritis Patient Advisory Board
Arthritis Research Canada works for and with patients. Our Patient Advisory Board partners with our scientists to ensure that our research is relevant, meaningful and helpful.
Interested in learning more about the Arthritis Patient Advisory Board or how to get involved? Click here