Medical Q&As

Psoriasis - depression link?

Is psoriasis linked to depression, anxiety and joints? I am concerned about a thirty-year-old relative who has suffered since late adolescence from severe psoriasis and currently has knee problems.

Relapses of psoriasis can be related to anxiety and depression. One of the worst cases of psoriasis I have ever seen was in a forty year old man who was very distressed by a sudden unexpected death within his own family. His psoriasis had not been troubling him too much for many years and his major relapse began a short while after the death. The reverse relationship can also happen. Some psoriasis sufferers can become depressed given the long-term nature of the condition and its tendency for remission and relapse. There is also a well-established connection between joint problems and psoriasis with some sufferers developing a form of arthritis that we refer to as psoriatic arthropathy. In some cases the actual arthritis can be more problematic than the skin condition. For a more complete discussion on this topic you might like to read our series of special features on psoriasis at http://www.irishhealth.com/clin/psor/