Arthritis not only takes a toll on our bodies, it can take a toll on our minds as well. Coping with symptoms like chronic pain, inflammation and fatigue, as well as the social and economic impact of arthritis, can sometimes cause or contribute to stress, anxiety and depression. Looking after our minds is just important as looking after our bodies, because factors such as stress can impact how we experience arthritis pain.
The World Health Association states that mental health isn’t simply the absence of mental illness, but defines it as “a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community. Therefore, mental health is not just about our own bodies and minds, but also about how we interact with our community and the world around us.
There are a number of factors that can impact our mental health, including social, economic, environmental and biological factors. Studies have shown that people with rheumatoid arthritis, for example, often report higher rates of anxiety and depression than the general population, which is why it’s important to pay attention to signs if you’re feeling down or out of sorts to know when to seek help. Everyone feels a little blue sometimes, but if you’re having a hard time coping, it might be time to talk to someone. This resource can help you identify when it might be time to reach out for help and identify options you can take. While coping with arthritis can be a challenge both mentally and physically, there are steps you can take to improve your mental health and well-being.
If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis, please contact Crisis Services Canada at 1-833-456-4566, a crisis line in your region, or dial 9-1-1 in the case of an emergency.
The following quiz has been adapted from the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Mental Health Meter and Princeton University’s UMatter Wellness Self-Assessment. It is not a scientific test and is intended for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional advice. If you require mental health advice, please contact your doctor or a qualified mental healthcare professional.
Take the Mental Wellness Self-Assessment Quiz - PDF [939 kB]
This resource was made possible through an unrestricted educational grant from Pfizer.