It may seem like everyone else has their lives together. Between beautiful photos on social media and inspiring stories in the pages of National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) magazines, it might feel as if you are the only one who experiences emotions like depression and anxiety.
But dig a little further, and you will hear stories of people who wanted to give up and who still struggle every day to put one foot in front of the other.
Mental health can be difficult to talk about, even with loved ones or health care providers. It is an act of vulnerability that many people do not have experience with. But as with psoriatic disease, ignoring the problem does not make it go away.
As you may know, anxiety and depression are common comorbidities of psoriatic disease. People with psoriasis have an increased risk of being diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and the risk may be even higher for those with psoriatic arthritis (PsA).  Rheumatologist Vinod Chandran, M.D., Ph.D., says that in one of the studies he and his team worked on, people with PsA were more likely to deal with anxiety.
“About 1 in 5 patients in the psoriasis cohort had anxiety, according to this questionnaire, and more than a third in the PsA group did,” he says. “The stigma of the skin as well as joint disease, the chronic pain that is associated with the arthritis, and the inflammatory state associated with the disease in general all likely play a big role in the higher prevalence of mental health problems in patients with psoriatic disease, and psoriatic arthritis in particular.”
Dr. Chandran also says more and more research is showing the potential relationships among psoriatic disease, inflammation, and depression. There are possible treatments and disease management plans that can address both depression and anxiety while treating psoriasis or PsA. But much more research is needed to better understand this connection. “[There’s still] lots of work to do quantifying the relationship between inflammation and depression,” he adds.