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Rheumatoid Arthritis and Depression; Causes of Suicide

Abstract: Discusses the relationship between rheumatoid arthritis and depression.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis and Depression; Causes of Suicide

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Question(s): 
Written by: Martin Winkler
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 28 Aug 2008.

Can depression cause rheumatoid arthritis? Is there a connection between rheumatoid arthritis and depression?

Answer:

We were recently asked in our natural-language question answering system "Can depression lead to rheumatoid arthritis?".

This answer is rather simple : No! But the course of the disorder may be influenced by psychological factors.

And we know, that any progressive and chronical physical or neurological disorder can cause severe mental health problems, including causes of suicide thoughts!

Rheumatoid arthritis, the most prevalent chronic inflammatory musculoskeletal disease, has been associated with several negative psychological outcomes, including depression. More than 10% of patients with chronic rheumatoid arthritis have had suicidal ideas!

A multimodal therapy approach for patients with chronic pain or chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis should include information about psychological counselling, and help to cope with these disorders, such as relaxation therapy (e.g. progressive relaxation, self-hypnosis, imagination-therapy or self-hypnosis).

Antidepressant medication can also be a very useful choice. The right choice of drugs may have a positive influence on mood and can also influence pain perception (reducing chronic pain) and insomnia.

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