People who suffer from autoimmune diseases may be at higher risk for poor mental health or developing mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.1 Chronic pain and the daily challenges of managing an autoimmune disorder can be taxing for many people. For caregivers and patients alike, understanding how autoimmune diseases affect mental health and ways to improve mental health can, in turn, improve quality of life.
What is an Autoimmune Disease?
An autoimmune disease is a condition in which the body can’t tell the difference between its own cells and foreign invaders, therefore attacking normal body cells and causing chronic pain, inflammation, and inability to fight off actual diseases and illnesses. These conditions include Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Psoriatic Arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Behcet’s Disease, and certain thyroid conditions.
How Does Autoimmune Disease Affect Mental Health?
While the symptoms of autoimmune diseases can be effectively managed, many people feel that it’s a struggle to manage their disease and balance the tasks of daily life. Often, people feel unable to enjoy activities they once did. Missing out on the “normal” activities can also increase the likelihood of developing clinically significant anxiety and depression.
In fact, people who have autoimmune diseases are at a higher risk of developing anxiety and depression, and those with a chronic health condition should discuss these feelings with their doctor.1
Activities To Boost Mental Health
Exercise is one of the activities that many physicians agree can help boost mental health, although people with chronic medical conditions may have difficulty with certain types of fitness. Journaling is also something that many doctors recommend for people struggling with mental health. Take a look at some other activities right here.
We’re a team of medical professionals dedicated to improving the lives of patients with autoimmune disorders, including arthritis, fibromyalgia, and back disease. If you or a loved one is suffering through daily pain as a consequence of autoimmune disorders, ask for a personalized consultation today to see how we can help to get you back to doing what you love most. Our rheumatoid arthritis specialists in New Jersey are here to help!