Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that can affect any joint in the body. When it occurs it usually causes very bothersome symptoms such as persistent inflammation and pain, loss of mobility, and stiffness in the affected articulations. Its causes are not yet known, but some researchers have linked negative emotions to the course of rheumatoid arthritis.
The importance of psychology in relation to this disease was recognized as early as the early 20th century. However, a serious study was not conducted until 1950. This year was the rheumatoid arthritis as a major psychosomatic diseases classified . Since then, research on this topic has grown in size.
In this article , we will examine the data collected so far on the link between negative emotions and rheumatoid arthritis. We’ll also share some of the key features of this disease, as well as some tips for living better with it.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms
Below we will describe some of the most common symptoms of this disease. They all mostly affect numerous joints throughout the body. The wrists and fingers are usually the most affected. Corresponding changes can, however, also occur in any other part of the body where two or more bones connect.
For example, symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can occur in the following areas:
Depending on the person who has the disease, the symptoms caused by the disease can vary widely. The most common are: swelling, hypersensitivity, pain, lack of mobility and joint stiffness.
Let’s look at them in detail.
Often the first symptom of rheumatoid arthritis is swelling of the affected joints. They can appear much larger than normal during an acute flare-up. If the condition is not severe, the swelling can appear in isolation, but in more severe cases it is accompanied by pain.
In addition , people with rheumatoid arthritis suffer from increased sensitivity in the affected joints. All sensations are thus intensified. At some point, the hypersensitivity becomes pain, the next symptom we want to look at.
3. Acute pain
The most distressing symptom that those affected by this disease describe is intense pain when performing certain movements or receiving a light blow to the joints. This can weaken them to the point that they are prevented from leading normal lives.
4. Lack of mobility and joint stiffness
Changes in the structure of the joints limit mobility. When this symptom becomes particularly severe, the person may find it difficult to perform certain everyday actions.
Negative emotions and rheumatoid arthritis: the link
But how are negative emotions and rheumatoid arthritis related? Recent studies have shown that some emotional states can cause an increase in the symptoms described above, and also make them more likely to occur.
Of all the emotions we can experience, the ones that show the clearest correlation with rheumatoid arthritis are depression, anxiety, and anger. Conversely , characteristics such as efficiency or resilient personality usually correlate with less pronounced symptoms when the disease is present.
The truth is that there is no single known cause for this disease. However, the relationship between negative emotions and rheumatoid arthritis is well documented. For this reason, many doctors believe that one approach to treating this problem could be to work on the patient’s emotional level. So improving understanding and emotional expression can be very effective in reducing pain, among other things. Although symptoms do not go away entirely in most cases, training in regulating emotions has helped many patients improve their quality of life.
Because of this, confronting this disease is the key to recovery. So if you have any of the symptoms described or you know someone who does, don’t hesitate to seek out a mental health professional. He will be able to help alleviate the symptoms.