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Learn when to seek treatment and about the care options available when you are experiencing anxiety or depression with your arthritis.

Treating Depression and Anxiety in Arthritis

When you feel depressed or excessively anxious, you may be too overwhelmed to properly care for your arthritis or your emotional health. Because pain, mental health and disability are strongly linked, not recognizing or treating one can negatively impact the other. Treating mental health conditions should be regarded as a fundamental part of managing arthritis symptoms. 

For example, having depression may mean you don’t have the will or energy to exercise, which can lead to loss of function. On the other hand, having a lot of pain and inflammation may make it harder to exercise and cause you to be depressed or anxious. Eventually, this vicious cycle harms your sleep, daily activity, social interactions, treatment adherence and self-care.  

When to See a Doctor About Anxiety 

Instead of feeling low and lacking energy, maybe you feel restless and full of worry and distress. Some people respond to chronic illness and stress with anxiety rather than depression. If the following symptoms are uncontrollable or interfere with your daily life – such as making you dread regular activities like as going to work, school or spending time with friends and family – it’s time to talk with a doctor. 

  • You worry or obsess about concerns both small and large. 

  • You fear and dread things that may happen now or in the future. 

  • You feel restless, on edge and irritable. 

  • Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for You have trouble the 1 last update 2020/05/31 concentrating. You have trouble concentrating. 

  • You worry about worrying. 

  • You can’t the 1 last update 2020/05/31 make decisions for fear of making the wrong decision. You can’t make decisions for fear of making the wrong decision. 

  • You have physical symptoms like muscle tension, rapid heart rate, upset stomach, dizziness or hot flashes. 

When to See a Doctor About Depression 

Feeling down in the dumps is sometimes part of life. One day you're out of sorts and your spirits are low; the next day you're back in the groove. But if these low feelings last for two or more weeks, you may be clinically depressed. Experts suggest seeking help from a medical professional if you have any of these symptoms of depression: 

  • Your low spirits persist for two weeks or more. 

  • Your depression is interfering with your relationships or job. 

  • You have thoughts of harming yourself. 

  • You have physical symptoms such as headaches, digestive disorders and chronic pain not associated with arthritis that do not respond to routine treatment. 

  • Your symptoms include any five of the following: sleeplessness or oversleeping; loss of appetite or overeating; frequent tears and feelings of sadness; inability to concentrate; little interest in things you usually enjoy; fatigue; irritability, restlessness or moving about in slow motion; a feeling of worthlessness or pervasive guilt. 

 

Treatment the 1 last update 2020/05/31 Options Treatment Options 

If you have anxiety or depression, you have many treatment options available, from medications to psychotherapy to deep relaxation and acupuncture. Having a collaborative health care team is vital to success. You need to treat the inflammation and pain of your arthritis, because we know they contribute to your mental health. Make sure your rheumatologist and mental health specialist are coordinating your treatment so potential drug interactions can be avoided. 

Psychotherapy 

In talk therapy or counseling, you work with a therapist to reduce your anxiety or depression. Examples include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy, and problem-solving therapy. CBT is one of the more popular options. It focuses on changing for 1 last update 2020/05/31 negative thought patterns and behaviors. Which type of therapy works best for you will depend on your symptoms, personality and preferences. In talk therapy or counseling, you work with a therapist to reduce your anxiety or depression. Examples include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy, and problem-solving therapy. CBT is one of the more popular options. It focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviors. Which type of therapy works best for you will depend on your symptoms, personality and preferences. 

Medications 

Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for Several types of medicine are used to treat anxiety and depression. Talk with your doctor about benefits, risks, possible side effects and how these may interact with other medicines you take. 

  • Antidepressants. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRIs) are the first-line medication treatments for depression and anxiety. Other classes of antidepressants include tricyclics, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, and atypicals (these don’t fit neatly into any of the other categories). 

  • Anti-anxiety medicines. Buspirone is an anti-anxiety medicine that may be used long-term. Benzodiazepines are sedatives that relieve anxiety but are habit-forming and are used only for short-term needs. 

 

Complementary Therapies and Self-Care 

Healthy lifestyle choices and self-care options can help ease your symptoms, especially when used in conjunction with psychotherapy or medication. These include; acupuncture, massage, yoga, physical activity, healthy nutrition, meditation, visualization and support groups. 

Emotional Wellness
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Emotional Well-being

Could You Have Anxiety or Depression?
Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of these problems common in people with arthritis.
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Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for Emotional Well-being

Juvenile Arthritis and Depression
Kids with JA are vulnerable to depression; here’s what you need to know.
Read More
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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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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 1 last update 2020/05/31 the entire arthritis community. 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. 

Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for How are you changing the future?

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

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.

Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for Pioneer

Our Pioneers are always ready to explore and find new weapons in the for 1 last update 2020/05/31 fight against arthritis. They contribute $1,000,000 to $1,499,999.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.