Coping with the emotional ups and downs of psoriatic arthritis

Depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions are common in psoriatic arthritis. Seek diagnosis and treatment to benefit your overall health.

Coping with a chronic health condition can be exhausting, both mentally and physically. If you're living with psoriatic arthritis, you're likely all too familiar with an unpredictable cycle of pain and even disability, which may end as quickly as it started. Once you feel well again, it can be hard to stay positive, knowing that psoriatic arthritis symptoms may return without advance notice. This pattern may help explain why mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety, are common in psoriatic arthritis.

Fortunately, many effective treatments are available to help, from lifestyle changes to medications and talk therapy. Finding a treatment plan that works for you can benefit your overall health and well-being.

The connection between psoriatic arthritis and mental health

Studies suggest that these mental health conditions aren't simply an outcome of living with the pain and disability of psoriatic arthritis. Research has found that the chemicals that cause inflammation in psoriatic arthritis also appear to increase the risk of depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses — with or without psoriatic arthritis.

Doctors don't yet understand the cause-and-effect relationship between psoriatic arthritis and mental health conditions. It is clear, however, that if you're affected by both, treating both will likely benefit your overall health.

Jan. 06, 2017 See more In-depth