PsA and mental health

Psoriatic arthritis and your mental health

PsA (psoriatic arthritis) doesn’t just affect the body though – it’s common to feel frustrated or overwhelmed, and your wellbeing and quality of life may be affected.1

“I used cognitive behavioural therapy to get over some of my anxiety and self-esteem issues.”
Keep an eye on your state of mind

People with PsA are twice as likely to suffer from depression than if they have psoriasis alone,2 so watch out for the signs:3,4

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Low energy
  • Loss of interest in hobbies
  • Difficulty concentrating

The way PsA can limit movement and leave you frustrated and in pain could lead to avoiding social situations or keep you from getting on with your daily life.3 If you’re unhappy and missing out on things, it could take a toll on your relationships.3 If this sounds like you, please seek help.3,4 While it can be tricky to speak about your feelings, healthcare professionals such as GPs or specialist consultants will be able to offer you support or direct you to where you can access it.4

Almost 1/2 of GP appointments involve mental health5

These are the different types of therapy that you might come across

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

CBT is a type of talking therapy, which focuses on how your thoughts and beliefs affect your feelings and behaviour.6 It uses certain tasks that help you identify any negative thoughts you might have, how they make you feel, why you have them, how realistic they are, what alternative thoughts may be more realistic, and how you feel after going through the task.6 Through tasks like these, CBT teaches you coping mechanisms to challenge any negative patterns of thinking and retrain yourself to think in a more rational way, interrupting the negative cycles of thinking that can cause people to feel depressed or anxious.6 Some of the tasks are done during the session, and some are done by yourself as ‘homework’.6

Interpersonal therapy (IPT)

IPT is a type of talking therapy for people with depression who may have difficulties in relating to or interacting with others.7 For example, someone with depression could benefit from IPT if they feel isolated because they have withdrawn from friends and family while their mood has been low.7 It helps people to recover by tackling difficult sources of tension in relationships such as conflict, life changes, grief or loss.7 By working through these and other aspects of relationships that are relevant to a person, people may find they become better at interacting with others and feel much better as a result.7


Counselling is a type of talking therapy which helps people deal with many problems, including a range of mental health difficulties, physical health conditions, life events, emotions, or other issues.8 The core of counselling is listening to you talk about your difficulties without judging or criticising you, so the counsellor understands you better and can provide insight, as well as help you find your own solutions to problems.8

You may be interested in

About treatments

Discover what your options might be.

Not all PsA is the same

PsA can affect different parts of the body – which are familiar to you?

Dealing with symptoms

Advice about dealing with the main PsA symptoms.

  1. WebMD. The emotional effects of psoriatic arthritis. Available at: Accessed: November 2023.
  2. WebMD. Do you have depression and psoriatic arthritis? Available at: Accessed: November 2023.
  3. NHS. Clinical depression. Available at: Accessed: November 2023.
  4. Pulse Today. Almost half of GP consultations ‘now include a mental health issue’. Available at: Accessed: November 2023.
  5. NHS. CBT. Available at: Accessed: November 2023.
  6. Markowitz JC and Weissman MM. World Psych 2004;3(3):136-9.
  7. NHS. Counselling. Available at: Accessed: November 2023.