Most people think of joint pain when they think of arthritis, but the effects of this condition extend beyond the physical. The chronic pain and lack of mobility associated with arthritis can also have far-reaching implications on mental health. For people with arthritis, mental health care can be as important to a treatment plan as orthopedic or rheumatologic care. Here is a closer look at how arthritis can impact mental health.
Arthritis and mental health
Mental health issues are common in people with arthritis. According to one study, people with arthritis reported having problems with their mental health on five days out of 30 , while people without arthritis reported having the same symptoms on only three days out of 30.
People with arthritis are thought to experience two to three times worse mental health than those without it. This includes people with all types of arthritis.
Reasons for mental health impacts
Although researchers are not sure why people with arthritis have more mental health problems, such as depression, than people without arthritis, but there are some factors that they believe could contribute to these symptoms. These contributors include:
- Chronic pain
- Frustration with lack of mobility
- Inability to work
- Cost of medical care
- Co-occurring medical conditions
Not everyone with arthritis experiences these issues, but they can contribute to poor mental health when they do occur.
Treating mental health issues in people with arthritis
People with arthritis should discuss depression, chronic stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues they are experiencing with their physicians. Addressing these problems can improve quality of life and may help make living with the physical symptoms of arthritis more tolerable.
Seeing an orthopedic specialist or other physician on a regular basis for arthritis care can also help to control the physical symptoms of the disease, which may in turn help to improve mental health.
Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center provides care for the physical and mental symptoms of arthritis through our orthopedic and behavioral health teams . Contact our hospital in Las Vegas today at (702) 916-5023 to request a referral to one of our physicians.