A news post on the SRUK’s (Scleroderma & Raynaud’s UK) web site provides results of a study on Raynaud’s and mental health. We were expecting to see information comparing the mental state of those living with Raynaud’s to that of similar people without the condition, but that wasn’t the case.
Instead, the study compared the mental health conditions of primary Raynaud’s sufferers to those with the secondary form – meaning those whose Raynaud’s is a by-product of a much more serious medical condition such as scleroderma, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, MS, and other connective tissue and rheumatic diseases.
Can you guess which group had the lower quality of life and higher anxiety and depression scores? Certainly someone with a potentially fatal or debilitating disorder, along with the pain and discomfort from Raynaud’s, would have a lot more to deal with in life than those with only the primary form of the condition. Maybe there was a reason to quantify the differences in order to gain more funding or support for secondary Raynaud’s sufferers, but results were as expected.
What would have been a more valuable study is to have offered insights into how those with any form of Raynaud’s – and since 90% represent the primary form with no other serious ailment – find the condition impacts their state of mind and quality of life. Then maybe doctors would stop giving Frosties the cold shoulder when presenting their symptoms and recognize that Raynaud’s causes not only pain, but daily challenges that can impact a person’s mental state, personal relationships and ability to sometimes even earn a living depending on their occupation.
We applaud all efforts to bring this issue to the attention of the medical community and hope that further studies will be broader in scope addressing the larger Raynaud’s community compared to the general population.
Here’s the news article on the SRUK’s web site: The impact of Raynaud’s phenomenon on mental health