Depression That Comes With Rheumatoid Arthritis

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) ?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder, it occurs when the immune system attacks its own body tissues. RA affects the lining of the joints, causing pain and inflammation that can later result in joint deformity. In addition RA causes pain, stiff joints, fatigue, and it can also lead to depression.

What is Depression?

Depression is a common and a medical illness that affects how we feel, the way we think and the way we act. Feeling sad, losing interest or pleasure in activities we once enjoyed, having trouble sleeping, having difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions, changes in appetite, and feeling worthless are all symptoms of Depression.

How does Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) connect to Depression?

According to the authors Ryan and McGuire, Rheumatoid arthritis is indeed a chronic and progressice autoimmune disorder with symptoms such as chronic pain and depression. Based on the study the authors Ryand and McGuire conducted, they found that 43% of participants reported suffering from depression, while 27% reported experiencing some form of anxiety. It was also concluded that depression amongst patients with RA is significantly predicted by the level to which a patient’s basic need for relatedness is satisfied. In other words,  if your RA makes it hard to do the things you enjoy, you have a higher chance of getting depression.

If you or anyone you know may be struggling with Depression and live in the Chicagoland area, feel free to call Olive Branch Counseling Associates at (708) 633-8000 and talk to a professional.


Graduate Intern


Ryan, S., & McGuire, B. (2016). Psychological predictors of pain severity, pain interference,depression, and anxiety in rheumatoid arthritis patients with chronic pain. British Journal

            of Health Psychology, 21(2), 336–350.



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