How Arthritis Patients Should Deal With Pain, Fatigue and Depression

By | January 30, 2017

It is obvious to arthritis patients that they do suffer from pain; but it may not be so obvious that they can also suffer from fatigue and depression which is also related to the disease of arthritis. Pain causes a person to become tired. Being tired combined with the pain can cause symptoms of depression.

We are going to discuss what we can do to help with pain, fatigue and depression as it relates to arthritis.


Some of the pain associated with arthritis is due to stiff, unused muscles. Therefore, unless we are having a “flare”; we should be exercising. Exercising is important because it relieves the stiffness in the muscles and joints and will make you supple. If you practice relaxation exercises; it will not only add strength to the joints and muscles, you will have less pain.

You should not try to do everything yourself when you are in pain. Ask people to help you; they have no way of knowing that you are in pain if you don’t mention it. Having pain can lead to stress and depression; so we have to reduce stress and depression, thus eliminating pain.


You are probably aware that arthritis can drain your energy level; especially inflammatory arthritis. This is caused in part by the body using energy trying to heal itself. In order for our body to have energy we need good nutrition because food is the basic source of energy. If we are not eating the proper foods and not getting enough essential vitamins and minerals to sustain us; then we are going to suffer from fatigue. Being overweight will increase the amount of energy we need just to perform daily tasks also adding to the stress we are putting on the joints.

If we are not getting enough sleep our body is going to feel tired. You should try to follow a schedule. If we condition our body to sleep and get up at the same time each day we are creating a routine that is good for us. This will not only allow us to sleep better we will feel like we are well rested when we awake. Being stressed with our busy lifestyles can cause us to have fatigue; so we must lower the stress levels before it leads to depression.

Fatigue can be caused by other things besides your arthritis. Therefore, if you want to prevent fatigue you really have to address the cause of it. Ask yourself; am I eating properly, do I exercise, am I getting the right amount of sleep, am I stressed out?

When people are tired, probably the last thing they want to do is exercise. In reality, it is the best thing you can do. Even just a short walk, or some Yoga will refresh your body and give it more energy.You need to motivate yourself to do this, even if you are feeling tired, and you will see how much better you feel.


Some people with arthritis say they are “feeling down” or they are “unhappy”. The thing is, if you are unhappy and you are in pain, this leads to stress, which in turn leads to depression. Pain creates a cycle; causing our muscles to become tense; then this leads to psychological stress, depression and fatigue.

If your arthritis is a significant problem, you certainly have or have had some problems with depression. It is always easy to recognize pain; but on the other hand it’s not always easy to realize when you are depressed. Just as there are many degrees of pain, there are also different degrees of depression.

The following are some signs of depression to look for and you probably have had some of these signs, however mild or severe.

Loss of energy is a symptom of depression. Feeling tired all the time.

Changes in sleeping patterns; like wanting to sleep more than usual, or interrupted sleep.

Loss of interest in activities or not wanting friends around.

Loss of weight or a gain of weight that is not intentional in a short period.

Changes in eating habits like eating more frequently or not interested in food.

Low self-esteem; feeling that you are worthless and nothing is worthwhile.

Having frequent accidents; like dropping things or just being carless in general.

Hostility or anger and flying off the handle over things that haven’t bothered you before.

Not able to concentrate and become confused easily.

Suicidal thoughts.

If some of these symptoms are familiar; you may be depressed. Don’t hesitate to seek help. Get out with friends, get exercise, take a vacation, join a group, get a pet. There are several things you can do to eliminate depression.

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