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Anxiety/Depression with RA

Hi

I developed RA overnight 18 months ago and metatrexate did not work. On Humira for past 10 weeks but do not see much change. Rheumy says it's beginning to work as bloods good and inflamation down. He said the same about metatrexate until a scan showed inflamation in all my joints and a lot of deteriation. Anyway for the past year I have become very anxious and depressed . I have been refered to a psychiatrist and waiting for appointment. This is the first time in my life I have experienced mental health difficulties I am 59. Has anyone else experienced this as I find this even more frightening than the R A.

Does medication help?

Thanks to all the regular posters as this forum has been my lifeline.

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Sorry to hear you are feeling this way. You may find the information on this part of our website helpful:

nras.org.uk/depression-and-...

Beverley (NRAS Helpline)

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Thank you for replying so soon. I will check it out now .

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And you can always ring the helpline for a general chat. Sometimes it just helps to be able to talk to someone who knows a bit about RA:

0800 298 7650 Monday - Thursday 9.30am - 4.30pm

Beverley

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Hope the Humira helps more for you if you feel it hasn't yet. it is good the inflammation levels are down. I saw a psychologist soon after I was diagnosed in 1995. I was an athlete and sporty person most of my life and activities revolved around sport so it was devastating to be seized up and immobile. I also could not get my head round why this was all happening as I had been very healthy otherwise for 35 years.

The psychologist helped me learn to accept things were different but I still had so much to offer and so much to do. He said we often grieve for the person we were. I think that's true.

I found physio and hydro a must and did as much as they could let me have via the hospital and now I find that a routine and sleep are important although I wake a lot in the might due to my age now! Hormones 😝

For me .. I must get it out of the house each day as fresh air and outdoors make me feel so much better. A simple ten minute stroll down the road to the shop or an amble round my garden doing little jobs makes a difference. If you are on your own a lot and don't feel at ease with your own company then see if your library has a reading group or details of classes. That's how I got back into studying.

Hope you can get an appointment soon and good luck. πŸ˜€

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Oh and RA didn't stop me getting a BA and MA so never think things are hopeless or you can't achieve something you want. You might have to get there on a slightly sifferent route but .... ! 😁

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I have a therapist as well. It is hard to let go of your "past life" and embrace who you are in your disease. I have had RA for 30 years, and I still need help with changes!

It's normal to feel like you have lost a way of life, I would worry more if you didn't!

Best of luck to you, and we are always here to bounce your thoughts and questions off of!

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Hello. I too had to speak to a psychologist about a year into my diagnosis. I've never had mental health issuses in my life.

I too was nervous going to this appointment, but you know what? I walked out of the psychologists office with a scense of relief. It is so "freeing" to unload all your fears and concerns to a stranger, who just happens to be a doctor.

I have an amazing husband and 2 wonderful adult kids. So I am lucky that I have a great supportive family who helps me out in every way....but this dang RA scared me. Whenever I talked about my fears, I saw the fear in their eyes. I couldn't bare to cause my family this emotional pain.

So talking to someone who I had no emotional connection with was wonderful. So liberating. I only needed 4 appointments to get everything off my chest. I still am scared, but I am able to deal with it now.

Hugs

Sue

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My GP diagnosed me yesterday with situational depression. My GP said do you feel x,y and z and I was like oh my god yes that's exactly how I feel. She handed me the tissues and said it's really only natural you would. I've always been an active person and was about to start on a degree course and be a police special when this happened. My situation has been compounded by not being able to access any working treatment due to the disarray my rheumatology department is in and I am curently off work again.

The pain is relentless and I think I'm going mad but it's compounded by feelings of utter worthlessness and that this is the end as far as my career goes.

I accept that I am depressed but have refused the anti-depressants at this point because my frustration is being in so much pain but not having anyone doing anything about it.

I asked for a referral to the pain clinic which she thought was a great idea only problem is it's in a town 1 hour away and the waiting list is 12 months.

You are definitely not alone with this xxxx

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Once the pain is under control you will feel very different about so many things. Much better. xx

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Some of the anti-depression drugs have pain relieving properties. I take one called amatrptilline(hope spelled it right) that is used to treat fibromyalgia. Cymbalta is one too I believe and wellbutrin. So my suggestion would be to talk to them about meds with duel purpose!

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Thank you all for replying to my post so quickly. I really appreciate it and it helps to know I am not the only one who feels this way. I have felt very alone lately even though I have a loving supportive family but after reading all your responses I don't feel as isolated and it helps just knowing that others understand

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I'm so so sorry that your going through this. I've recent been diagnosed with PSA at age 28 and am only at the beginning of coming to terms with with is. Same as you I'm like 'why me? What did I do to deserve this?!' And although I don't know you I can imagine your an amazing person and have many people who love you. Take your strength from their love if you can. I take mine from my 6 and 4 year old although most of the time I struggle with my mental health becayof the condition and automatically think I'm the worst mum to walk the earth. Then my daughter drew a picture in school the other day of herself and was told to decide what 1 thing makes her the happiest and she said 'when mummy cuddles me' and I know I will never not be able to cuddle her. Please try and look for positive aspects of your life, that's what I have to do. Chin up and just think how amazing we are to have all of this but we are still standing (not very well in my case 😝) lots of love Hun xxx

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And definitely listen to @neonkittie that lady defo helps me feel brighter!!!!!

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😍😘 Thank you! I'm no expert on anything but I know a lot of things which have worked for me and I don't mean the meds as what works for one doesn't for another at times. Sometimes you find that med early that does all it for you and sometimes it takes a little longer. It can be a scary time of panic and fear and frustration. It will get better but we wish when we are at that stage that we could wind the clock forward to a time when the meds have worked and we feel much better. Patience is not in abundance when we feel so much pain and anxiety.

Yes you will be able to cuddle your daughter again. Once that inflammation goes down and RA is controlled. It will happen.

Grain/Hells ... Often RA/illnesses which debilitate us make us feel our careers and lives are hopeless. I told my hubby when first diagnosed I would leave him as I was useless. He said ... I can't hear you .. Only a lot of crazy nonsense coming from you! 😝 True! We mostly have to look at a change and a clever way rounds things. Many of us panic and think .. That's it .. I'm useless .. Throw me on the scrap heap, but that's the scared and irrational person in your head you must not listen to. Be cautious and be patient as you can be but always have your hopes and dreams and don't give up on them. I did a BA and MA after RA diagnosis. Been hard at times but I loved it. You will have better times. xx

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Just as I said! Always listen to neonkitty!! You should defo have your own group where you give lectures on positivity!!!! πŸ™‚ Xxx

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Aww you're too kind. I just wanted to say that in the early days hope is very hard to hang onto and I have been there and I felt it too. I thought I'd be locked in pain forever with no purpose or felt no inclination to do anything for about three months, but once you know the meds are working you will start to think differently. You'll plan things and look first to them. Hugs. xx

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Hi, so sorry you are feeling so bad, the only thing I have noticed is I wake at about 4am most nights and feel like it's the end of the world worrying about all sorts of things and it makes me feel really anxious. During the day ok, don't know if this is down to Methotrexate it symptoms of RA. But like you I played a lot of sport and was very active, think I am much older than you though. I just think when we are diagnosed with RA it's such a shock, I know it was to me I thought I just had arthritis, and after two foot reconstructions put it down to too much tennis. Would love to go and play tennis or table tennis with friends but know I wouldn't be able to hit a tennis ball with any force. I went ten pin bowling with my Granddaughter what a mistake, It was great fun but then within a day two great big red swollen knees could hardly get up or down stairs so no more ten pin bowling. So I can understand you being so depressed, and I do hope you feel better soon.

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The positivity I am feeling from all your replies is really helpful and neonkitty I am going to take your advice and be more proactive. I have located an arthritis walking group near my locality and will be joining them from next week. I am also in the process of making enquiries about an aqua arobics group for arthritis. I had no idea that there were arthritis groups so close to where I live. Living in Ireland I don't have access to a full health care team, just consultant and GP and am hoping to make friends in the above groups and have some peer to peer support. I am also going to link in with counselling to help me come to terms with what is going on. Thank you all again as I felt so low when I wrote my post and already only 2 days later I feel more in control and look forward to becoming more social (have been a hermit since RA started) and making new friends who understand .

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Grainnek, I hope your appointment for the psychiatrist comes through very soon. x

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Grainnek, great news! I hope you can join both groups and have fun and exercise gently. Steady on those joints which you say are troublesome and build up your exercise. πŸ˜€

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I would like to thank grainnek and all of you who have contributed to this thread.

I am 59 and was diagnosed with RD last October. Im on shed loads of medication then medicatiin to help with side efects etc etc....like so many with RD. I was a nurse for 17 years, got my degree when I was 40, taught FE and HE for 14 years then fostered for 4 years till this happened.

I felt and sometimes still feel like Ive been hit by a train. I was immobile for 3 months and now can drive and use a stick to walk when able. I can do 2 tasks a day without being exausted just tired,so thats great. I now have practical help in the housedue to receiving PIP. So helpful as couldnt / cant do the housework

I am a positive active person,but boy oh boy im struggling. Since my diagnosis my daughter has got married and is now pregnant, my brother had a stroke,my father died,my husbands lungs have taken a perminant dip with his copd and my brother in law has been diagnosed wirh inoperable asbestosis and told he has less than 2years to live. I have always been the 'go to' person in the family. I was not too bad untill the news of my brother in law who is in his late 60s.

I go to a pain clinic who has been helping me through CBT to accept my RD situation, which was going well.

As said im a positive person and im really trying to find the best in all things ie daughter etc. I have felt quite lonely because as soon as I say something ie im weary or upset everyone around me especially my husband wants to put things right and protect me,so its better not to say. So.. what im trying to get at is I appreciated reading this thread as im not the only one struggling. It does seem to me there is a common theme with RD and that it affects very busy people.

This is very cathartic and if you have waded through this epic ramble well done and thank you.

Lastly I would say. Keep sharing and helping...it works. Thanks again

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Hoping for better days very soon for you. x

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Thank you

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