Survey reveals enormous hidden impact of arthritis on mental wellbeing

Hidden impact report cover

To launch Wake up to Arthritis, a new campaign to raise awareness of the seriousness of arthritis, we are sharing our new survey findings.

More than 3,000 people with arthritis responded to our survey from across the UK and, of those, 79% (four in five) said their condition makes them feel anxious or depressed.

What people with arthritis told us

  • 79% (four in five) feel anxious or depressed because of their arthritis
  • 80% (four in five) have given up activities they enjoy
  • 50% (half) feel isolated or lonely because of their arthritis, with 47% having lost contact with friends
  • Read the full report

The survey shows that feelings of anxiety and depression are more common among those who experience severe pain and fatigue, who struggle with daily activities, and who have lost contact with friends or given up activities they enjoy.

Chief Executive, Judi Rhys, said: “Our survey results give an alarming insight into the huge emotional toll that living with arthritis is having on mental wellbeing.

“Arthritis is usually seen as a physical condition, however we know there’s a strong link with anxiety, low mood and depression. Too often living in pain and coping with fatigue means that people give up the activities they enjoy and their independence is put at risk. 

“It’s clear that the limitation which arthritis imposes on many people’s lives is having a profound effect.

Making a change

Arthritis Care is calling for real change for people with arthritis, including:

  • Better recognition of the impact of arthritis by governments and health services across the UK
  • Better integration of mental and physical health services
  • Better access to support with self-management and pain management services

Get involved

If you’d like to get involved and support Arthritis Care’s call for change, please sign up to our campaign network.

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