Another study from 2008 showed that RA patients are twice as likely to experience depression but most do not discuss this with their physicians. The study showed that almost eleven percent of RA patients suffered from moderate to severe symptoms of depression but only one in five would discuss these symptoms with their physician.
While we all feel blue or sad at times. If these feelings become overwhelming or last for long periods of time then they interfere with the patent's ability to enjoy life and live a normal, active life. At this point, the patient should seek medical help for clinical depression.
Failure to seek help for depression can result in worsening of the symptoms and suicidal thoughts or attempts.
They symptoms of Depression include:
- difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- fatigue and decreased energy
- feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
- feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
- insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
- irritability, restlessness
- loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
- overeating or appetite loss
- persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
- persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings
- thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
- 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)
- 1-800-273 TALK (1-800-273-8255)
- 1-800-799-4TTY (1-800-799-4889) Deaf hotline
- a sudden switch from being very sad to being very calm or appearing to be happy
- always talking or thinking about death
- clinical depression (deep sadness, loss of interest, trouble sleeping and eating) that gets worse
- having a "death wish," tempting fate by taking risks that could lead to death, like driving through red lights
- losing interest in things one used to care about
- making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless
- putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, changing a will
- saying things like "It would be better if I wasn't here" or "I want out"
- talking about suicide (killing one's self)
- visiting or calling people one cares about
Remember, you do not have to face this alone.
1) Research Update: Depression and Rheumatoid Arthritis
2) Depression in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients
3) Signs of Clinical Depression