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Depression and Arthritis- how are they linked to one another?

November 13, 2023

Being cooped up in homes during the pandemic has affected the mental health of several individuals. Moreover, staying indoors for a long duration can cause restrictions on movement. It is, therefore important to understand Arthritis and how people might be affected by it during the lockdown.

Understanding Arthritis

Inflammation of joints is Arthritis. In simple words, it is swelling near the bones of your joints. It includes pain, rigidity, stiffness and limited functioning of joints.

Restricted mobility can lead to joint pain. This pandemic has done precisely that. With the imposition of several lockdowns to curb the pandemic, people have been in their homes for almost over a year. It has limited our movement.

If we don’t maintain the flexibility of our body cartilages, they become stiff over time. Therefore, keeping them flexible is crucial. When they turn rigid, joint pain occurs.

When there is pain in one joint, it is known as Monoarthritis and when we experience pain in multiple joints, it is known as Oligoarthritis.

There are several subtypes under the two. There are many supplements and other medications available to build immunity and reduce joint pain for each type.

Depression and joint pain- an indirect connection

Depression is a mood disorder where one feels sad and gloomy, a sense of loss, anger and frustration. Though it is related to your mental health, symptoms are physical such as loss of or excessive sleep, reduced or increased appetite, reduction in cognitive abilities and constant headaches.

A lot of factors such as family, job, peers and confinement contribute to depression. However, unrestricted mobility, a little bit of exercise and an intake of proper diet can reduce the possibility of Arthritis in people.

How is depression linked to joint pain?

Joint pain and depression do have an indirect connection with each other. Arthritis or joint pain can make you live a hampered life. Incapability to live a normal-paced life and hindrance in your day-to-day activity makes you feel left out.

Humans are social animals; the very feeling of exclusion puts mental pressure on one’s mind. The sense of energy reduction compared to your previous life makes it stressful. When we cannot handle this stress, there are maximum chances of falling prey to depression.

Sometimes the joint pain of Arthritis is so severe that your sleep patterns are disturbed. An average adult needs at least six to seven hours of sound sleep to function correctly. Sleep deprivation disturbs your whole routine, causing a delay in work. At times, it affects your occupation and finance, leading to anxiety.

Not all medicines are good for health. It may cure one disease, but there is no guarantee that it might not lead to another. Many medications have side effects and one of them is mental illness and tiredness. In addition, several drugs directly impact CNS (Central Nervous Systems), resulting in depressive symptoms.

Whether it is for a short-term or a long-term, joint pain does affect your mental health. From the above understanding, we conclude that it affects your mental health in two ways:

1. Effects of medication

2. Effects of joint pain.

Take care of others but don’t forget self-care.

Note: If you feel that you constantly have a low-feeling for two weeks or more, kindly seek help. Visit a doctor or a psychologist for the same. Don’t delay your treatment. Mental health is as important as your physical well being.