When it comes to living with or taking care of those who have arthritis. It’s not surprising that it is linked to poor mental health, anxiety, and depression. It can be extremely difficult to have to live with constant pain and fatigue. Living with this can affect your work, relationships, and many other aspects of your life that are important to you.
More than 10 million people in the UK are living with arthritis
Research has shown that nearly 20% of those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis experience depression and close to 30% develop depression within 5 years of their diagnosis.
Your Mental Health & Arthritis
Feelings like depression and anxiety can leave you feeling overwhelmed and you may not be able to properly care for your arthritis or your mental health.
It can be a vicious cycle, living with these feelings could mean that you simply don’t have the will or energy to exercise. This can lead to a loss of function.
On the other hands, with arthritis comes pain and inflammation which can make it harder to keep fit and exercise. Thus bring you full circle to feeling down, depressed or anxious.
Eventually, this vicious cycle affects more aspects of your life such as sleep, day-to-day activities, relationships, and self-care.
How Your Can Look After Your Mental Health
Talk to Someone You Trust
There is a lot to be said about getting it off your chest. By opening up and sharing how you are feeling, you will feel 10 times better. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a family member, friend or a medical professional. You should never be afraid to ask for help or open up.
We even have a great way to break the ice if you are unsure. Everyone loves to have a natter over a cuppa. The Uccello Kettle is a great conversation starter as well as a safe and easy way to make your favourite brew.
Don’t Hold It In
We’ve all had a very stressful few years with the pandemic on top of all the everyday stresses. Add your arthritis to the mix and stress is sure to rear its ugly head.
When it comes to stress it’s important to learn or know what it is that puts pressure on you. The best thing is to work on avoiding these pressures. However, if they are unavoidable, creating a plan of action is the way to go. Learn what can help you release stress before it settles in for a long stay.
Whether its a walk, a bath or even 10 minutes to disconnect with a cuppa, make sure to make the time for yourself.
Let’s Get Physical
We all know exercise is good for the body, but it’s also good for the soul. Regular exercise can help with anxiety and depression. Its also good for your confidence and self-esteem.
We know that arthritis can make exercise difficult, that is why aerobic exercise is the best way to go. Aerobic exercise is anything that makes you a little bit out of breath. That could be walking around the house, cycling in the park, going for a swim etc.
Exercise releases chemicals around the body that are natural painkillers which will help life your mood. If you are unsure what exercise to start with, why not talk to your doctor to physical therapist.
Vitamin D or the ”sunny vitamin” is good for bone and joint health and it can help with depression. During the spring and summer months, getting at least 15 minutes a day of warm sun on bare skin can help.
For the autumn and winter months, vitamin D supplements are the way to go. We all know the sun hides a lot here in Ireland so vitamin D supplements are probably a good idea to take all year round.
Talk to Your Doctor
Arthritic pain can add to your feelings of depression and anxiety. There is evidence that a high level of inflammation will increase the number of chemicals in your blood that make depression more likely.
If you are experiencing flares, see your doctor or nurse and don’t understate your symptoms. It’s ok not to feel ok and they are there to help.