Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disorder in which the body’s own cells start attacking healthy tissues near the joints. As a result, the affected person suffers from chronic inflammation and pain. Over a period, the condition could result in bone deformities and prevent an individual from carrying out routine tasks without additional help.
RA is an extremely debilitating condition affecting nearly 1.3 million Americans in a given year. It is also estimated that almost 60 percent of such patients are unable to function well 10 years after the disease onset. Currently, there is no cure for the disorder. As the person is restricted from participating much in outdoor activities and performing indoor tasks with great amount of effort, there is an increased risk of mental health disorders like anxiety and depression.
Higher incidence of bipolar disorder
A recent study published in the journal Arthritis Care and Research indicates that bipolar disorder is prevalent in people with RA. During the course of the study, the researchers analyzed 10,206 cases of RA between 1989 and 2012, and a general population cohort of 50,960 individuals. Using validated algorithms, they found out the annual and lifetime incidence of depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and anxiety following an RA diagnosis. The study revealed that people with RA had a greater annual and lifetime prevalence of anxiety and depression. This could be due to the fact that the infirmities associated with a physical disease can make the person melancholic and stressed. They are unable to enjoy their life to the full and become withdrawn.
The study also concluded with a higher incidence of bipolar disorder among RA patients. In case of schizophrenia, there was no noticeable difference. The study also found that women and people belonging to the lower socioeconomic status were at an increased risk of being afflicted with psychiatric disorders. Commenting on the findings, Ruth Ann Marrie, from the Max Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Canada, said that it was necessary for clinicians to be proactive about identifying and treating these conditions appropriately.
Thyroid autoimmunity linked to prevalence of bipolar disorder
While anxiety and depression can be readily linked with the disorder, the existence of bipolar with RA cannot be explained with ease. Some researchers have linked bipolar disorder with the autoimmunity against the thyroid gland, common in RA. It is a well-known fact that the thyroid gland produces the mood-altering thyroid hormones. When the body’s immunity goes haywire, it starts attacking thyroid cells as well. With the thyroid malfunctioning, the risk of bipolar disorder increases.
Getting right treatment for bipolar disorder
Though bipolar disorder is not as common as depression or anxiety, its effects can be severe. Also known as manic-depressive disorder, it is associated with unusual fluctuations in mood and energy levels. It could hamper an individual’s ability to carry out normal activities. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 4.4 percent of American adults could have the disorder at some point of time in their lives. Though bipolar disorder is a lifelong illness with episodes of mania and depression returning, with medication, counselling and therapy, it is possible to make a patient’s life normal to some degree.
Sovereign Health of Florida is a leading treatment provider of mental health and behavioral issues in America. Our experienced staff provide customized treatment for bipolar disorder treatment by combining traditional methodologies with experiential therapies. For more information about our treatment plans or to get connected to our state-of-the-art bipolar residential treatment centers, call our 24/7 helpline number or chat with one of our online representatives.
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