Ms. Meniscus,

I run a consulting firm and have recently had some business reversals, so bad that I could lose major clients. I do not feel well. Could this stress be making my RA worse?

–Karl in TX

Dear Karl,

Oh my dear friend in Texas, you look to have a double whammy when it comes to stress:  worries about money + being a male with rheumatoid arthritis.  

Please let me explain.

First of all, you are not alone in experiencing stress over business reversals. This particular kind of stress unfortunately spans the globe. A paper in the British Psychological Society is just one of many linking the rise in depression levels to money worries due to the unpredictable and difficult economic climate:

Now to compound your stress over money worries, you’re a male with rheumatoid arthritis.

Just this past week at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology in Washington, DC, study results were presented saying that depression was a significant mortality risk in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, particularly men. As Ms. Meniscus is not a physician or scientist, here’s a link to an article that spells out the study results in everyday language from PsychCentral:

So what does this mean for Ms. Meniscus to suggest links to articles she thinks may pertain to your particular situation but contain rather – for lack of a better word – depressing study results? It’s because Ms. Meniscus wants you to know that you are not alone in how you are feeling.

Indeed, you are not alone. Period.

Yes, stress can make RA worse and RA can make stress worse. Please tell your physician how you are feeling asap. Ms. Meniscus cannot emphasize enough how there is help for your feelings of stress.

Finally, Ms. Meniscus wants to leave you with one more link. It’s from a Special Guest Blog post on CreakyJoints from RA Guy:

“Years ago, I was stuck in a very dark place full of depression and suicidal thoughts. If you had told me then that I would one day be the person who I am now—a person who not only lives with pain and disability but who also has a hopeful outlook—I would have said that such a thing was completely outside the realm of possibility.”To read RA Guy’s entire post:

Please keep in touch and let Ms. Meniscus know how you are doing.

— M

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