13:13 PM

How Rheumatoid Arthritis Can Impact Your Mental Health

Health Central highlights how chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can contribute to anxiety and depression and when you should see a provider for help. 

There is likely a link between pain and mental distress. 

“Having depression or anxiety can influence medication adherence as well reduce physical activity, which can potentially contribute to higher pain and thus higher disease activity and vice versa.” said Nilasha Ghosh, MD, MS, RhUSMS, rheumatologist at HSS. “On top of this, RA is an autoimmune condition that is associated with increases in pro-inflammatory cytokines, which has been suggested to be relevant in the development of depression.” (The data, she added, is inconsistent and it can be hard to tease apart the causes of RA disease activity versus depression symptoms.)

Complicating matters, there is some evidence to suggest certain rheumatoid arthritis medications may trigger mood-related symptoms. “It is difficult to separate the effects of RA on mental health from the effects of RA medications on mental health,” said Dr. Ghosh, explaining that drugs such as corticosteroids are known to cause negative mental health changes. “It has also been suggested that some drugs that are considered the cornerstone of RA therapy, could have worsen depression or anxiety, though it is not noted in everybody.”

Read the full article at healthcentral.com.