Our online community
Meet people in our online communities who share the condition of Scleroderma or Raynaud's.
The link between long-term physical health conditions, such as Raynaud's phenomenon and Scleroderma, and mental health problems such as depression, is well known. According to the Department of Health, more than 15 million people in England – 30% of the population – have one or more long-term conditions,1 and evidence suggests at least 30% of people with a long-term physical health condition also have a mental health condition. 2 If you are struggling, you are therefore not alone.
With increased recognition of mental health problems in the media, Mental Health Awareness Week starting on 8th May 2017 and more people bravely discussing the challenges they are experiencing, there has never been a better time to start a conversation. There are lots of ways in which you can reach out to friends, family, support groups or healthcare professionals if you need help, or if you want to open discussion and offer support to a friend or family member you feel may be struggling.
Looking after yourself
The 2012 King's Fund report 3 recognises that people with both physical and mental health conditions have a reduced quality of life and that mental health problems can exacerbate physical illness. It is therefore important to look after your mental wellbeing as part of managing your Raynaud's or Scleroderma. There are a number of types of treatment that are available on the NHS, including counselling, cognitive behavioural therapies (a talking therapy that can change the way you tackle problems by changing the way you think and behave) and medications such as antidepressants. A number of charities also offer means-tested counselling services.
There are also things you can do yourself to improve your mood, such as:
Talk to your GP if you are planning any major lifestyle changes.
If you would like to find help or discuss concerns you have about a friend or family member, there are a number of organisations you can contact: