Does anyone also struggle with depression or another mental illness along with Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Does anyone also struggle with depression or another mental illness along with RA? I have bipolar disorder and have a hard time sticking to an RA-friendly diet while depressed. Strenuous exercise helps my mental state, but then I flare up for a few days after exercising, which brings the depression back. It’s frustrating and I can’t seem to get myself to a good place mentally or physically... Just wondering if this is common.

Laura Mclain
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I've never suffered with my mental health until diagnosed with RA 5 months ago & starting on meds. Not sure whether it's the drugs or overwhelm with how much life has changed or the pain itself but find myself in a dark space of negativity on an almost daily basis. I've got so much to be grateful for but the depression takes me in a big wave. I'm on a vegan, gluten free diet & can't barely walk at the moment. I try to meditate every morning & remind myself of how much I have to be grateful for but it's so hard... I hope you find your way with this xx

Sandra Walden

Ra is caused from leaky gut and unbalanced bacteria in the gut. Depression can also be caused by the same problems. 90 percent of your seratonin is made in your gut so heal it and everything will improve.

Joni Shook

My husband has the same problem, can you tell me what to do to balance the gut, he is bipolar, Ra, constipated all the time, depressed, diabetes, and is just miserable for years

Stacey Jarvis 3 years

The gut brain connection is profound and science is just now beginning to understand and learn what is going on.

Joni Shook

Im in a very dark place the depression and pain

Elize Curran

I also more anxiety extreme anxiety not knowing what I’m going to wake up with each morning I will say walking and exercising and water will alleviate some of that pain

Mary Hinson

I am bipolar with RA. I balance my bipolar with meds. I have found steroids make bipolar worse. If you ever need to chat just send me a message!!

April Mackey

When I was diagnosed I stayed in bed for three weeks. I was already depressed because of the death of my husband. The pain makes the depression worse. I am getting better. But, I have started a new med. Helping with the pain. I think that if you can get relief from the pain the depression gets better.

Covey Spencer

This disease is so damn depressing it’s hard not to be depressed. People talking about their long hikes, their Zumba classes or even just being able to run up and down the stairs, people who haven’t seen you lately calling to ask if you want to go cross country skiing when you CANNOT EVEN WALK, your young child asking you to get down on the floor and play with him and having to tell him yet again that you can’t... Barely sleeping due to excruciating pain and the drugs with all their crappy side effects. Uninformed people who have no idea what you’re going through but have “a little arthritis in their big toe” or think you should just try taking some glucosamine and you’ll be fine, cause of course you never would have thought of that... But thanking them for their input because you know as frustrating as it is they’re just well intentioned people trying to help. It sucks. It all sucks. And I have to remind myself every day, several times a day, that I can’t give up and just throw myself from a bridge because it would ruin my five year old son. He’s the only thing that makes this life livable for me right now since all meds stopped working two years ago and I’ve been a guinea pig for every new drug on the market but nothing works and prednisone is meanwhile killing me. Yes, this disease is depressing. I don’t know how anyone can have RA, at least debilitating RA like mine, without becoming depressed.

Angie Watts

We all go through the grieving anger, depression, feeling sorry for ourselves, when I was diagnosed I thought this would be no big deal, boy was a wrong, this disease knocked me on my ass, I went through it all and still am, I find that meditation, positive thinking helps me cope with it and not go crazy, I focus only on the good, I have learned to accept that I have a disease and that I have to ask for help sometimes and say no sometimes, my family doesn't understand what I'm going through on a daily basis, I have tried to tell them but they are not very empathetic about it, I have learned the best thing is to take care of my myself first and everyone else second, we have to focus on ourselves first before we can do anything else, this disease has changed me immensely but I will not let it win, everyone keep fighting and only focus on the good not the bad it will help, we are in this together remember you are not alone

Jerry Orr

Yes... Severe anxiety issues... Was on antidepressants...

Gulnaaz Rangel

Yes. I seem to get no pleasure from things I used to get great pleasure from. Being in constant pain of course makes you irritable. I’ve never suffered from mental illness but I’m now thinking I should see someone for anti depressants. It’s the constant never getting back on your feet! If you have a flu or a bug you know you just need to be ill for a week or so and you’ll get better, but with this discese you know as soon as you get over one flare it’s a waiting game for the next one, which for me, these days, isn’t far away.

Shirley Herndon

Depression is a number 1 side effect.

Fae Hannah

Mmn might b able to help here r u open to suggestions

Phill Maldonado

Are you seeing a therapist? Sounds like you may need more coping tools.

Yoli Cisneros

No depression but certainly blue days and anger and frustration at the situation. Being in pain 24/7 is no fun and not being able to walk is a huge challenge especially with working fulltime so sometimes I get really pissed off!

Annette Rangel

Yes it is.

Michelle Ogden

Yes, this is a depressing disease, but depression is real. Aroma therapy helps some. Ketamine injections are supposed to help! There is a 24/7 lifeline phone number also. The aroma of smelling wild Orange is supposed to be really good for you. Don't be afraid to talk to someone. It's very real.

Carolyn Burris

Yes. Bipolar, anxiety disorder, and PTSD along with my RA.

Katie Magee

are you eating sugar or carbs?

Rachael Solis

Have you tried cooking on your good days so food is there on your bad days. I find this helps me.

Alisha Johnston

Yes depression which I’ve never had before

Bernadette Cormier

I hear you all and have all the same issues
Always had panic attacks, anxiety and depression. Then hasimotos, and RA. The hardest part of this journey is finding balance. In work, in food, in rest, in exercise and life.

Lenore Spangler

Yes I have depression, OCD, and am in recovery from an eating disorder and drugs and alcohol. Not sure if there’s any sort of correlation or which came first, but sometimes it’s hard to cope with RA which brings on depression, wanting to relapse etc. I’m so sorry you’re going through this and I understand how hard it is. I hope you find some relief soon. Just take it easy, one day at a time. It really helped me to see a therapist, and is now a necessity for mental health “maintenance” for me. Worth a try

Caitlin Klein

I understand that I’m in recovery 12 years alcohol and this disease brings on depression for me struggling lately

Bernadette Cormier 3 years

It's a vicious cycle!!

Isis Griggs

I'd say everyone in general has these symptoms. Life does that to people.
I'm on a variety of groups this topic seriously comes up in every one of them whether it's a health group or not because it's that common RA or not.

Are you over-exercising and pushing yourself above limits to get the feel good feeling which is too much for your body and causing the flare ups? Maybe I misread that but if so it sort of sounds like a dopamine crash.

Jen Washington

I have anxiety, at one point I couldn’t go out in public without having a panic attack. That was over a year ago. Therapy helped a lot, in conjunction with changing my diet and forcing myself to do some low impact exercise every day (not strenuous, like you said, that will put me into a flare), also I see on my relationship with God. I was desperate. I have come a long way, but still get really panicked when my RA flares. That’s usually a sign that I need to slow down and focus on those things I mentioned above and make my health my priority again. It’s tough!! Hope something I said helps you.

Jennifer Keene

I also have bipolar disorder and I could have written your post! Juggling these two diseases is HARD. Doable, but very very hard. If it weren't for my husband, and the fact that I worked in psych for years there would be days that I couldn't do it. Keep trying and don't ever give up!!!!

Shanan Light

Thank you everyone for the support and helpful suggestions!

Laura Mclain

Yes .

Sandra Terrell

My 1st rheumatologist put my on amitriptyline for depression and sleep and told me all RA patients deal with some level of depression.

Kim İngram

I think it’s true. Chronic pain equals depression

Sandra Terrell 3 years

Yes that’s true

Bernadette Cormier 3 years

Depressed and tired! Never been like this before. I really hate it.

Lisa Cody

I hate it too. My whole life is different. I went from being a go getter to hardly being able to do anything

Sandra Terrell 3 years

Have u tried cannibis

Zook Cain

Not the answer if you want to be productive and work. Employers will not hire even with medical marijuana. I’d try CBD and or Kratom

Matthew Ruiz 3 years