If you know the crippling fear associated with anxiety, you aren’t alone. In fact, 37% of people with PsA suffer from anxiety,1 over twice the typical number of adults.2 So why is anxiety so common for people with PsA? And if it is something that you face, then how can you look for help?
First off, let’s take a step back to figure out what anxiety is. It’s an incredibly tricky thing to define, largely because it’s a very personal experience – we all have different triggers for what makes us feel anxious, and that horrible feeling can manifest in different ways. But scientists believe anxiety can be defined by the following four reactions in our bodies:1
So now we know the key signs of anxiety, why does it affect so many of us living with PsA? Well, the gut-punch of having to manage anxiety and PsA in tandem is that one can often exacerbate the other, making a vicious circle that can be really hard to break. Simply put, the emotional toll of living with PsA symptoms on a daily basis can lead to stress and anxiety, worsening the condition. As symptoms become more severe, this can impact on sleep and cause even more stress, further increasing anxiety levels.
If this is a cycle you recognize, then it’s really important to remember that you are not alone! And ensure that you have a strong network of support and resources available.
A combination of the following might help:
Be sure to take the time to explore which coping mechanisms work best for you, and don’t forget that the PsA and Me community is here whenever you need us. If you have other tips that you’ve found to be great, then don’t be shy, share them on any of our social channels.
1Website: National Psoriasis Foundation. Depression, anxiety common with psoriatic arthritis. Last accessed 25 July 2019. https://www.psoriasis.org/advance/depression-anxiety-common-with-psoriatic-arthritis
2Website: Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Facts & Statistics. Last accessed 25 July 2019. https://www.adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics
3Website: The Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance. Psychological aspects of psoriasis. Last accessed 25 July 2019. http://www.papaa.org/psychological-aspects-psoriasis