PTSD and RA?

I have terrible nightmares when I get pain, but I've had PTSD stuff going on, well, all my life. I found a study that suggested a causative connection between seropositive RA and trauma, but apart from that I'm having a hard time understanding the doctor-speak. (I'm seronegative) Does anyone know more about this? Is it possible my PTSD and RA are encouraging each other? And does anyone have suggestions on dealing with the combination? I'm truly scared to go to sleep tonight :(


21 Replies


    Hi Bat. I've been asleep, but woken up with a bad dream. Not a nightmare, but I'm glad to have escaped it all the same.

    I wonder if you have come across EFT? It has really helped me. Too tired to type more,


    Jo xx

  • So sorry to hear this PTSD is awful but as Jora says try EFT it does help. It's quite painless, involves a therapist moving their fingers in front of your eyes from one side to another and helps puts those bad memories into the long term memory at the back if your brain. I had a bad accident in 2008, and suffered flashbacks - EFT helped a lot. Also odd the link between RA and PTSD. My husband witnessed the accident (was running on the path, me on the road riding a cycle when I was hit from behind by a car) and started with RA shortly after. The stress following the accident has made things worse for his RA but that's another story. Hope you get some treatment, if you don't fancy EFT also have a look at Mindfulness - you can do this yourself, very relaxing and may help with the sleeping x

  • Thank you, that's very helpful. I got my RA diagnosis not long after my second stroke, but I had a history of unexplained inflammation in my gut before that. I'm coming up on the 15th anniversary of my first stroke, as well as the anniversary of my sister's death, so it's really not surprising that things are more stirred up than usual, but I think some kind of treatment is in order. I've done mindfulness exercises in the past, but I'd forgotten how much they help with sleep. I'd really like to see more studies done on the relationship between trauma and RA, though. Bat

  • I'd heard of EFT but not really looked into it. I'm sorry you got woken up so rudely! I did a little net-searching, and it looks very promising. I have a brother who does body-talk therapy, which is very much based on the same principles. As for me, I slept like a snoring, drooling, dead thing. I sound an awful lot like I swallowed a frog this morning, though :P

    xx Bat

  • Eft with Rwandian orphans

  • Morning, I have PTSD & RD. The PTSD came first. I often wonder if the trauma I experienced bought on the RD. I have nightmares & very vivid dreams, I used to sleep walk too. Thankfully the walking has stopped. I used to hate going to bed but somehow I've learned to live along side them & even get comfort from them,as stupid as that sounds.

    I hope you find a way through to.

    Take care.

  • I've had a long and complicated medical history, so I have to wonder the same thing. I'm glad you're not walking any more; I've been known to sing, shout, and hold conversations in my sleep, but I haven't walked.

    It doesn't sound stupid - the important bit is that you find comfort.

    Thanks, and take care too.

  • I had elective surgery and the recovery was far mor traumatic than I envisaged although no long term effects now after two years. Ithink the trauma of the surgery ignited my RD. But it was self inflicted.

  • Morning azabat I am seronegative also and as far as I am concerned when I fell down the stairs and hurt my hip the trauma of that brought on my arthritis and my diabetes it's not well documented about stress and arthritis and seems to be dismissed by doctors but I and many others think they go hand in hand. The sleepless nights with the stupid dreams keeping me awake are another of my gripes but I try to grab 40 winks when I can lol

  • Thanks, I think my gp might be interested in hearing the possible link. I've been puzzling him for years! I got a good night's sleep last night, thank goodness, but I'm often running a few winks short the full 40 :)

  • I don't know about this lovely but I do hope your gp can help you, I'm do lucky only ever hot bad dreams when I was on amytrtptalline and they scared me to death. So I feel for you. Bad enough having your physical problems without the old brain kicking in too . Sending healing thoughts xx

  • Thanks, Allanah. Healing thoughts are always welcome :) xx

  • Like Allanah I had very vivid dreams when I first started on amitriptyline but they've stopped now. I have seropositive RD but I wasn't aware that something triggered it. I used to sleepwalk infrequently as a child but other than that no real trauma, certainly nowhere near what you've had to contend with Bat.

    I hope you can get to the bottom of it, it must be so disturbing not to mention the lack of restful sleep we need to replenish energy & cope with the pain... it's difficult enough with having continual nightmares. I feel for you. x

  • Thanks, last night was better, and I'm grateful, but I really notice a link between my PTSD symptoms and the RA. I guess it comes down to 'the chicken or the egg' for me, really. x

  • There's definitely a link between trauma and the development of RA. In my own case I was injured quite badly at work and then developed RA. I was prescribed steroids and developed Type 1 Diabetes. To cut a long story short it was accepted in Court that there was a direct and indirect causal link between the injury and development of both conditions.

  • Erf. Knowing what I do of court. I imagine it was a VERY long story. I don't suppose it should come as much of a surprise, though, given the changes that trauma causes in the brain. Thanks for the information.

  • Well, six years until payout but we had the top two Rheumatologist in the Country ,at the time, to give evidence in our case. Also backed up by an OP surgeon plus Diabetes Consultant. It was all a matter of opinion but the Judge accepted our case probably because our specialists outranked theirs!

  • Hi Bat

    Following on from my mention of EFT, I can now elaborate a bit. Before I got RA, I qualified as an advanced EFT trainer, with the idea of working specifically with artists. I know how important it is to keep one's stuff at the studio door. An open mind is much more important than a clean palette. Although I had to do case studies and I have worked with friends both live and by skype , for various reasons, I never developed a professional practice, and my licence to do so has now lapsed. However, I have found it very useful for myself. Obviously, it hasn't cured my RA , but I have used it for situations or people which/who have upset me. Two years ago, I used a very discreet version before I stood up to talk about my mother at her funeral; I used it the other night before I opened the window to shout at the guy on my doorstep at 2am; I have used it when I am fearful and angry about this disease. I could go on and on, but I've written enough for you to gather that I recommend it. Auto-EFT is fine for what I call the normal niggles of living, but there is something deep, I think it's useful to work with a professional. It can be a very powerful experience and it is often combined with a technique called Matrix Reimprinting.

    I would recommend listening to Bruce Lipton,if you need scientific reassurance .

    As for practitioners, I know of one very good one in Canada. I am not suggesting that you go all the way to where she is, but being in the same time zone might be helpful. I think she is actually English but lives and works in Canada now.

    Of course, with Skype or FaceTime, you can work with practitioners around the world. The important thing is that you are comfortable with them. I trained with someone Bennie Naude. He is excellent, but very expensive now. A lot of practitioners have negotiable rates.

    I am not being evangelical. It probably isn't for everyone. I just know that it works for new.

    Take care



  • I mean ts. "I just know that it works for me"! I should have added that it has proved to be extremely useful in trauma . I will try and look out the videos I am think of, and post the links here. J x

  • and here's the other video I was looking for

    BTW, as well as pain, I find that medication can stimulate bad dreams. Sulfasalazine was the worst for me.

    Do let us know how you get on, or PM me.



  • Thanks Jo, I truly appreciate the info. I'm coming up on the anniversary of my sister's death, and also my first stroke, so I'm particularly vulnerable to nightmares right now. I've been doing better with better pain management, but there's a whole lot of stuff I'd be just as happy to let go. I'll talk to my brother and see how similar his techniques are, and whether he'd be able to work with me via Skype. I'm still not quite recovered from mtx Friday (which is longer than it's been lately) but hopefully tomorrow will be better. xx Bat

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