Many people who contact me report they feel very depressed. They had dreamed of a wonderful retirement, doing all the things they love to enjoy. Unfortunately when they develop osteoarthritis and depression follows diagnosis and the realisation their dream is shattered.
Unless you have OA you have no idea of the psychological effect it can have. It effects every aspect of your life and because there is no cure you can end up feeling that this is your life. You can’t enjoy the simple pleasures in life- working around your home, going for a walk or playing with the grandkids all becomes a chore rather than a pleasure. You lose motivation to do anything as you know you are going to suffer the consequences for a good few days to come.
I believe there two major factors resulting arising from having osteoarthritis that leads to depression.
1. Osteoarthritis Affects Sleep.
When you have OA you stiffen up when you are sedentary. Therefore when you lie asleep you set. Then you try to turn over and the pain wakes you up. So whenever you turn in your sleep you wake up. No way will you get a restful night.
To help with this consider getting a mattress made of either of latex or memory foam or with a memory foam topper. Memory foam deforms and fits the body shape exactly so the mattress stops any pressure points. With other types of mattress the blood flow is reduced at the pressure points so we turn over to get the blood into the affected tissues. Memory foam and latex means we don’t turn over as often.
2. Osteoarthritis Stops Us Doing the Things We Love
When we have osteoarthritis if we overdo it we pay for it. There is a fine line between doing too much and not enough.
If we don’t do enough we set and get really stiff. This can happen even just going to the movies. We watch the film and then can hardly get out of our seat. It’s not funny as we then have the pain plus humiliation of everyone watching us try to stand up and walk out.
If we do too much when we get up the next day we can hardly move. The pain will be much sharper and often will last a few days before it settles.
This study on osteoarthritis and depression has linked these together as well. They say lack of sleep causes depression and, when they term, functional disability. So the osteoarthritis affecting sleep will cause to you become depressed and that also leads to you not wanting to do the things you love.
How to Try and Beat Osteoarthritis and Depression
The best thing you can do is try to get out of this awful cycle. Easier said than done when you are in it I know but you might try some of the following:
1. Try a homoeopathic remedy such as Melancholy Lift. It seems to act as a pick me up while you start making other changes.
2. I understand you hurt but you must move. Start by doing a specific exercise programme for the affected joint. That will allow you to do more with less pain. This article explains why this is so important.
3. Get the best mattress and pillow you can afford. Latex and memory foam are the best and you can get toppers to go in top of your existing mattress and this is much cheaper.
By trying to break the cycle from all angles you have a better chance of success.
As always if I can be of any assistance with your osteoarthritis and depression please feel free to contact me.