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RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS AND DEPRESSION

Depression is a common feature of RA. People with RA may be envisioning a life filled with pain or feeling old before their time. They may feel cheated. And self-esteem may waver when they find they can’t do things they once did with ease. These are good reasons to feel sad, and prolonged or intense sadness can lead to depression.
The following statements contain subtle cues that indicate the person is depressed:
“I’m too tired to visit the Bensons tonight.”
“Nothing’s wrong. I just don’t have anything to say.”
“It’s Jimmy’s birthday? I forgot.”
“I feel okay. I’m just not hungry, that’s all.”
“I hardly shut my eyes all night.”
“Honey, my joints are just too sore tonight.”
Feeling melancholy is not the only symptom of depression. Loss of energy, decreased interest in previously enjoyed activities, forgetfulness, loss of appetite or excessive appetite, difficulty sleeping, and decreased libido can all be symptoms of depression. But these same symptoms can be caused by RA, so it’s important to clarify their source.
Depression results in further pain, poorer sleep patterns, added muscle tension, and increased fatigue – all of which can lead to deeper depression. This cycle needs to be broken. The primary motivating agent must be you.
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