According to the results of the Medibank Better Health Index1 annual survey that involved more than 50,000 Australians, 22.3% of people with arthritis also had a diagnosis of depression compared to 16.3% of the general population. New research has discovered that people who have arthritis are more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression and have some panic attacks.
The survey also found that panic attacks affected 7.3% of of people with arthritis compared with 5.8% of the general population, while sufferers were twice as likely to struggle with sleeping issues.
Medibank Chief Medical Officer Dr. Linda Swan states that arthritis is a physical disease, but greater awareness about the impact it has on a person’s mental health is needed. She added: “These findings confirm how essential it is that people with arthritis take measures to not only manage the physical symptoms of the condition, but also their mental health as well, and seek support from their arthritis specialist, GP or other health professional if required.”
Because of this discovery, it is leading to calls for greater awareness on the impact arthritis has on the mental health of patients. Arthritis sufferers live with chronic pain and a loss of mobility which can severely affect their social lives.