5 tips for coping with arthritis-related depression

Fight feelings of arthritis-related depression when your pain and compromised mobility get you down using these important tips.

5 tips for coping with arthritis-related depression

1. Realize you're not alone

Over 4.5 million Canadians over the age of 15 suffer from arthritis.

Research

There is a huge amount of ongoing research about arthritis, and much of it is available to the public, which can help you better understand your symptoms and how to manage them.

Your support network

  • Along with doing research and learning about your condition, gather a support network around yourself.

This may be family or friends, a support group of members who are arthritis sufferers, or even a virtual group on a forum or social media site.

Your support network should consist of people who listen to you, are positive, and support you on both good days and bad so that you can safely express your emotions.

2. Enjoy a good laugh

  • Take time out to read a funny book or magazine article, or watch a humorous TV show.
  • Spend time with friends who make you laugh, giggle or have fun.

Laughter increases your intake of oxygen, relieves stress and relaxes the muscles. It may also help to boost your immune system and relieve pain, both of which are factors in some types of arthritis.

3. Don't blame yourself

There are three important things to remember if you're feeling down.

  • It's not your fault that you have arthritis.
  • You don't have to feel guilty about feeling depressed.
  • You shouldn't feel bad when you can't participate in certain activities.

4. Stay positive and healthy

Once you've been diagnosed with arthritis and mourned the losses it involves, take control and move on.

  • Adapt to living with the condition, and make sure that you don't become isolated.
  • As soon as those negative thoughts begin, turn them around by remembering the many remaining positives in your life.
  • Control your weight, eat and drink in a healthy way and keep physically active. The less you move, the more your joints stiffen up, so walking, yoga, stationary cycling, swimming and calisthenics are all recommended for arthritis sufferers.

5. Seek professional help

Talking to a therapist and taking anti-depressant medication and drugs for pain are good treatment options for arthritis and associated depression.

Arthritis-related depression isn't easy to fight, but with help of others and some pro-active thinking, it can still be done.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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