Living with Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)

Newbie to LWPA site ? Help with depression/ Improve sleep


Hi all

I’m brand new here. First post. I’ve been reading posts for a while and know you all know the drill as it’s a similar story. I was diagnosed 10+ years ago. Had P since 11, PsA since 18. Currently on my Cinderella drug Humira which gave me back my life in 2009 & I try to remain grateful every day for my improved mobility and quality of life. That said I’m suffering with lack of sleep linked in a chicken and egg way to depression. Been so long sleep deprived I don’t know what came first. I’ve got to the point where I’m crying every morning going to work, shutting myself off from partner and children and not really sure how to get help. Tried self referral to MH services as recommended by my GP but it was rubbish. How can I stop myself from poisoning my family (not literally although my son is convinced I try this every dinner time where he doesn’t get pizza!) with my negative mindset? Apart from avoiding them? Small children see so much and I don’t want to damage them!


I would ask about some low dose tricyclics right before bed time. Quite a few of us have had pretty good success with plain old fashioned Amitriptyline starting at only 100mg. There is a pretty good body of evidence this is enough to help with sleep and some pain management especially that stuff that happens during the night. Your Rheumie would be the best resource.


I’m not an expert but I know several people on Zoloft (Sertraline). It’s an anti-anxiety, anti-depressant. They’ve been on it for years and it seems, for them, to make life bearable.

I took a low-dose (10 mg) tricyclic (correct me if I’m wrong tntlamb)–called Nortriptyline–for neuropathy in my feet. It did the job for the neuropathy and also, because it is used as an anti-depressant (in higher doses) it helped my anxiety greatly!

For sleeping, my daughter took Unisom (this was while she was pregnant, so it’s pretty safe). She slept very well and woke up refreshed and not groggy at all.

I hope you find some relief…I’m sure it’s a vicious cycle between feeling depressed and not getting enough sleep! If you start getting better sleep, hopefully the depression will subside!


MommaBear! Welcome to our clubhouse. We’re glad that you found us, but it really does suck to have this disease, doesn’t it? We know, yes we do …

Not sleeping well is terrible, and as you say a chicken-and-egg issue. Are you taking anything for your depression?

I’ll second tnt’s amitriptyline suggestion, and as GrandmaJ said, it’s also good for neuropathy if you have that. It worked well for me for a time. Another old drug that works well as a sleep aid is trazodone, also non-habit forming and it may help relieve some of your depression as well.

I love your calling Humira your “Cinderella drug”. Such a perfect term! Enbrel was that for me, as it was for GrandmaJ. How fortunate we are to be living in an age where this help is available.

We’re glad you joined our conversations. Nothing loves company like misery! (Naaah, we aren’t all miserable, but we’ve all been there.)



Thank you so much for your replies and the warm welcome! I’ve dutifully jotted down the suggested meds and will run them past my rheum next month at clinic…
I look forward to hopefully getting to know this place and everyone here a bit. Too long I’ve tried to keep everything PsA and P and Crohns related pretty much to myself and it’s so good to speak to others in similar situations! X


MommaBear, just talking it through here might help with the depression and sleep problems too. If there’s anxiety underlying these problems then our discussions can make PsA seem normal, less scary. Not that anyone would want this ‘normality’!

I hear what you’re saying about ‘keeping it from the kids’ in terms of low mood. And again, having your own outlet here, amongst people who completely understand might help with that too. It occurs to me that trying to be upbeat for the sake of your family is one more stress on you. Not saying you’re wrong to feel that way, just that we’re here and nothing you can say can get us down lol! You actually sound very lively!


MommaBear, I heartily agree with Sybil. Being able to interact with others here on the forum that are all in the same boat is very cathartic. I don’t have a problem with depression but I do not sleep well. Dealing with fatigue, work, family obligations, pain, etc, etc at the same time all the time is exhausting in and of itself. But to me the worst part of this disease is the feeling of aloneness. Other than this forum I have no access to or interaction with any other PsA person. And living in a small town, I may be the only one with it in the entire community.
Sometimes I get so tired of this disease forcing me to have such a focus on myself when all I want to do is Get On With Life Outside Of Me that I do what I did when I did chemo. A friend gave me a box of ‘M.A.S.H.’ tapes just for some sort of distraction. (I had very limited entertainment options at that point. And now with the internet we all have a gazillion cat videos available) She didn’t know how important they turned out to be. When I felt really, really bad and exhausted and just didn’t have the gumption to do anything other than come home from work and be miserable I would start watching them. With my quirky sense of humor they were SO funny and ridiculous that it was a much needed distraction. It helped break the internal focus just a bit. And every little bit helps. The saying ‘Laughter doeth good like a medicine’ has a lot of truth in it. Laughing won’t cure you but it can certainly help lighten the soul. Fortunately for the stuff laughter can’t cure we now have very good medication available.
Hang in there and keep in touch with all the good peeps here. It really will help lighten the load.


Had a bad start to the morning. Didn’t sleep well but that’s just a given now. Had a row with my husband - as he drops me off to work at 7, then he does the school run then goes back to bed until him and the baby wake up at about 11. I more or less said the wrong parent is getting all the breaks and I really want to swap over. I think if he really understood how I feel on a daily basis he wouldn’t have taken it the way he did. Tears in front of my son though… I feel awful about that


Oh gosh MommaBear… this thing (PsA) is really hard to deal with!!! I’d agree with tntlamb re: trialing some amitriptyline or similar… am wondering though if it might just be possible for you and your husband to swap roles (he go out to work and you stay home with the children), for a trial… maybe for just a year… if you give it a set time he might agree… I don’t know if it would help at all, but it might give you a bit of a break from struggling to work and deal with PsA etc, etc… and give you the time to get things back on track again.

I understand this might not be possible, but is it a conversation you can have with your husband at all?

As for the tears in front of your son is concerned, kids are pretty resilient… and maybe it’s not such a bad thing for them to see that Mum cries sometimes too (we parents are only human after all… even though we would love to be super human, and need to be at times :wink: )