Managing Anxiety and Depression When You Have an Autoimmune Disease
👉👉 Did you know that research shows that nearly half (40-45%) of all people with an autoimmune disease are more likely to develop anxiety and depression?
For autoimmune disease sufferers, anxiety and depression are often constant companions. It can be hard to cope with the chronic pain and fatigue that come with these conditions and the fear of flares and other complications.
It's necessary to find ways to manage your mental health and physical health to live your best life despite your chronic illness.
Here are some tips for dealing with anxiety and depression when you have an autoimmune disease:
Make sure you're getting enough sleep.
Fatigue is a common symptom of autoimmune diseases, and it can exacerbate anxiety and depression. Make sure you're getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night, and try to stick to a regular sleep schedule as much as possible. I've got a post dedicated to helping you sleep better by the weekend. Check it out.
Eat a healthy diet.
Eating nutritious foods helps your body function at its best and can help to boost your mood. Make sure you're getting plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and limit processed foods and sugary snacks. There'sThere's a growing body of evidence linking poor diet habits to an increased risk of anxiety and depression. Give your autoimmune body the fuel it needs to heal by eating nutritious foods.
Exercise releases endorphins, which have feel-good, mood-boosting effects. Even if you don't feel like it, try to get some exercise every day - even a short walk around the block can make a difference. Pushing through the resistance of not exercising will go a long way to improving your mental health.
Sunlight helps naturally increase serotonin levels and vitamin D, which are linked to improved mood. Serotonin helps regulate mood and energy, while vitamin D is essential for bone health. Just 5-15 minutes a day of sunlight can make a big difference. So get up, get out, and enjoy the sunny days ahead!
Connect with others.
When dealing with a chronic illness, it's easy to feel isolated and alone. Talking to others who understand what you're going through can help. Make an effort to connect with friends and family members or join a support group for people with similar conditions.
Seek professional help if needed.
If your anxiety and depression are severe or having trouble coping, don't hesitate to seek professional help. There are many options available for in-person or online sessions with licensed professionals. A therapist can provide support and guidance and may also recommend medication if necessary.
By taking care of yourself both physically and mentally, you can manage your autoimmune disease and live a full and happy life.
You deserve it.
Let me know in the comments if you've tried any of these or have other tips to share with the community.