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 Learn more about the connection between arthritis, depression and anxiety, and how these conditions can make your arthritis worse. 

Arthritis and Mental Health

Having any form of arthritis – including osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), lupus, ankylosing spondylitis, gout or fibromyalgia – can have a negative effect on your mental health. This most commonly manifests as depression or anxiety.  It works the other way around, too. Mental health problems can worsen arthritis symptoms. 

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arthritis treatment centers near mehow to arthritis treatment centers near me for Defining Anxiety and Depression 

According to the American Psychological Association: 

  • Anxiety is characterized by feelings of tension, worry and irritability along with physical changes like increased blood pressure.  

  • Depression is characterized by sadness, a lack of interest in daily activities, weight loss or gain, sleeplessness or excessive sleeping, lack of energy, inability to concentrate, feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt, and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide. 

 

How Mental Health Affects Arthritis  

Rates of depression and anxiety in people with arthritis-related diseases vary depending on the population, the size of the study, and the measurement tools used. But data shows that the rates can be between two- and ten-times greater than the rates of the general population, depending on the type of arthritis. 

Studies also show that anxiety and depression can lower your pain threshold. And then the chronic pain aggravates your anxiety and depression. Furthermore, people with arthritis and depression tend to have more functional limitations, are less likely to adhere to their treatment regimens, and have increased odds of developing other health problems. The vicious cycle of pain, poor health and negative mood can significantly change the course and management of your arthritis. 

 

Pain and for 1 last update 2020/07/02 Depression Pain and Depression 

Many studies have shown clearly that people with arthritis with the highest pain levels are the most likely to be anxious or depressed. Exactly why higher pain severity is associated with depression is not clear. It seems to be a two-way street. 

  • Pain incites depression. Living with daily pain is physically and emotionally stressful. Chronic stress is known to change your levels of brain and nervous system chemicals. These stress hormones and neurochemicals – like cortisol, serotonin and norepinephrine – affect your mood, thinking and behavior. Disrupting your body’s balance of these chemicals can bring on depression in some people. 

  • Depression makes pain worse. Depression weakens a person’s ability to deal and cope with pain. A person’s perception about their condition, for example back pain, might become more negative when compared with individuals who are not depressed. 

the 1 last update 2020/07/02   

Jon T. Giles, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University and rheumatologist at New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, says “Painful sensations are relayed through the brain in a very complex way, and can be modulated up or down.” Stress, poor sleep, anxiety and depression all influence pain levels, he explains. 

Inflammation and Depression 

We know that pain and disability are linked to depression in arthritis, but a developing theory is that inflammation also plays a role. A 2016 study published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry reviewed levels of C-reactive protein – a marker of inflammation – in 10,036 people who responded to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Those with symptoms of depression had CRP levels that were 31% higher than those with no depressive symptoms. 

There are many studies recognizing depression as an inflammatory state. “There is a well-documented event called cytokine-induced depression, where cytokines are increased, and depression occurs,” explains Patricia Katz, PhD, professor of medicine at University of California San Francisco.  Specific cytokines, such as interleukin-1, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α, are involved in the pain and inflammation process in arthritis. 

Lifestyle and Depression 

Having arthritis is painful and exhausting. Inflammation and the fatigue that goes with it further drag you down. Add a co-occurring condition like diabetes or a heart condition, and the active life you once knew may have disappeared. 

These health challenges may cause you to not exercise, become less social and more isolated, and have worse sleep quality. These negative changes in your lifestyle can increase your pain and dampen your overall mood – bringing on the blues and depression. 

Although what causes depression in people with arthritis may differ, the link is real and potentially life changing. Treating the 1 last update 2020/07/02 not only your arthritis but also specifically treating your anxiety or depression is key to living your fullest life. Although what causes depression in people with arthritis may differ, the link is real and potentially life changing. Treating not only your arthritis but also specifically treating your anxiety or depression is key to living your fullest life. 

Emotional Wellness
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arthritis treatment centers near mehow to arthritis treatment centers near me for Emotional Well-being

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Understand the feelings of loss and grief that often come with chronic illness. Learn how to deal with your grief in helpful ways.
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Join the Live Yes! Arthritis Network. Tell us a the 1 last update 2020/07/02 little about yourself and you will receive emails packed with the latest information and resources to live your best life and connect with others. Join the Live Yes! Arthritis Network. Tell us a little about yourself and you will receive emails packed with the latest information and resources to live your best life and connect with others.

 
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    Join us and become a Champion of Yes. There are many volunteer opportunities available.

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Ways to Give

Every gift to the Arthritis Foundation will help people with arthritis across the U.S. live their best life. Whether it is supporting cutting-edge research, 24/7 access to one-on-one support, resources and tools for daily living, and more, your gift will be life-changing.

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arthritis treatment centers near mehow to arthritis treatment centers near me for Help millions of people live with less pain and fund groundbreaking research to discover a cure for this devastating disease. Please, make your urgently-needed donation to the Arthritis Foundation now!

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Become an Arthritis Foundation member today for just $20. You'll receive a year's worth of Arthritis Today magazine, access to helpful tools, resources, and more.

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Honor a loved one with a meaningful donation to the Arthritis Foundation. We'll send a handwritten card to the honoree or their family notifying them of your thoughtful gift.

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Volunteer Opportunities

The Arthritis Foundation is focused on finding a cure and championing the fight against arthritis with life-changing information, advocacy, science and community. We can only achieve these goals with your help. Strong, outspoken and engaged volunteers will help us conquer arthritis. By getting involved, you become a leader in our organization and help make a difference in the lives of millions. Join us and become a Champion of Yes.


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Live Yes! INSIGHTS


Give Just 10 Minutes.

Tell us what matters most to you. Change the future of arthritis.

By taking part in the Live Yes! INSIGHTS assessment, you’ll be among those changing lives today and changing the future of arthritis, for yourself and for 54 million others. And all it takes is just 10 minutes.

Your shared experiences will help:

- Lead to more effective treatments and outcomes
- Develop programs to meet the needs of you and your community
- Shape a powerful agenda that fights for you

Now is the time to make your voice count, for yourself and the entire arthritis community. 

Currently this program is for the adult arthritis community.  Since the needs of the juvenile arthritis (JA) community are unique, we are currently working with experts to develop a customized experience for JA families. 

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arthritis treatment centers near mehow to arthritis treatment centers near me for By sharing your experience, you’re showing decision-makers the realities of living with arthritis, paving the way for change. You’re helping break down barriers to care, inform research and create resources that make a difference in people’s lives, including your own.

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Meet Our Partners

arthritis treatment centers near mehow to arthritis treatment centers near me for As a partner, you will help the Arthritis Foundation provide life-changing resources, science, advocacy and community connections for people with arthritis, the nations leading cause of disability. Join us today and help lead the way as a Champion of Yes.

Trailblazer

Our Trailblazers are committed partners ready to lead the way, take action and fight for everyday victories. They contribute $2,000,000 to $2,749,000

Visionary

Our Visionary partners help us plan for a future that includes a cure for arthritis. These inspired and inventive champions have contributed $1,500,00 to $1,999,999.

Pioneer

Our Pioneers are always ready to explore and find new weapons in the fight against arthritis. They contribute $1,000,000 to $1,499,999.

Pacesetter

Our Pacesetters ensure that we can chart the course for a cure for those who live with arthritis. They contribute $500,000 to $999,000.

Signature

Our Signature partners make their mark by helping us identify new and meaningful resources for people with arthritis. They contribute $250,000 to $499,999.

Supporting

Our Supporting partners are active champions who provide encouragement and assistance to the arthritis community. They contribute $100,000 to $249,999.