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The Arthritis-Depression Connection

Having any form of arthritis – including osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), lupus, ankylosing spondylitis, gout, fibromyalgia – can have a negative effect on a person’s mental health. This most commonly manifests as depression or anxiety. It works the other way around, too. Mental health problems can make your arthritis worse. Rates of depression and anxiety in people with arthritis-related diseases can vary but data shows that it can be between two- and ten-times greater than the rates of the general population, depending on the type of arthritis. Studies 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. You can find yourself in a never-ending loop of pain, poor health, and negative mood. This vicious cycle can significantly change the course and management of your arthritis.

Lifestyle and Depression

Having arthritis is painful and exhausting. Inflammation and the fatigue that goes with it can further drag you down. Maybe you then add a co-occurring condition like diabetes or a heart condition. If you’re dealing with all of this, the active life you once knew may have gone out the window. All of these health challenges may cause you to engage less in physical activity, 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. No matter exactly what causes depression in people with arthritis, the link is real and potentially life-changing. Treating not only your arthritis but also specifically treating your anxiety or depression are key to living your fullest life.

Run the Jingle Bell Run

So what does all of this have to do with you? Well, you can run for both mental health AND arthritis at the Arthritis Foundation’s Detroit Jingle Bell Run on Saturday, December 1, 2018, at The Corner Ballpark. We’ve kindly been given a discount code to pass along to the SIR community for $5 off registration. This will be a great time to get into the holiday spirit, put on your favorite holiday costume, and tie jingle bells to your shoelaces. ’Tis the season to live it up and be jolly for a reason! Run or walk, spread smiles and good cheer. 100 percent of your registration fee and fundraising efforts go to this great cause. Use discount code SIR18JBR at checkout!


By Sasha Wolff

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