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Coping With Psoriatic Arthritis

Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last reviewed: August 2022

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a challenging condition on both the physical and the emotional level. PsA is a chronic inflammatory disease that often gets worse over time. As it progresses, it can strain a person’s mental and physical health.1,2

Anxiety and depression are 2 mental health problems associated with chronic conditions like PsA. Research has found that people with arthritis are 2 to 10 times more likely to have depression and anxiety than those who do not have arthritis.1

Anxiety and depression can not only affect your mental state but also lower your threshold for physical pain. This only makes pain and fatigue worse, causing more anxiety and depression. It is a vicious cycle.1

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Coping with PsA – and any chronic condition – is challenging. But there are several ways to gain support and learn strategies that can help.1-3

Lean on family and friends

The support of family and friends can be a tremendous source of strength to someone living with the difficulties of PsA. You might find it helpful to explain to them the challenges or frustrations you are experiencing. Ask them for help if you need it. Do not hesitate to communicate how family and friends can support you.1-3

Join a support group

It also can help to connect with a group of others who understand the challenges of living with a chronic health condition. Support groups are a safe place where you can share personal stories. These groups are available both online and in person.2

Talk with a mental health counselor or therapist

Counselors and therapists can offer coping skills to help you deal with the mental and emotional aspects of living with a painful chronic disease. Talk therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are 2 forms of therapy that can help you problem-solve while working through your emotions.2

Manage stress in a healthy way

Stress negatively affects the body. When it is combined with inflammation, stress can make you even more sensitive to pain. But not everyone experiences stress the same way.4

Studies have shown that a person's thought patterns affect their body’s physical response to stress. Ultimately, the way you think can impact your overall heart health and immune health. Data suggests that optimism and having a positive mindset help reduce the effect of stress on the body as a whole.5

One of the most effective ways to reduce stress is to use activities or techniques to create a relaxation response in your body. Relaxation methods can include:3-5

  • Acupuncture
  • Massage
  • Deep breathing
  • Visualization
  • Meditation
  • Prayer


Low-impact exercise like walking deepens the breath and relieves muscle tension. Exercise that combines movement, deep breathing, and mindfulness can increase feelings of well-being. Such activity might include yoga, tai chi, or qigong.3-5