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  • Writer's pictureMotto Health

When was the last time your physician took time to learn about your emotional wellness?

At Motto, we prioritize mental health as much as we do physical health. We know from research and from our own clinical experience that emotions are closely linked with the physical symptoms of auto-immune conditions like pain and fatigue. This is not surprising. When you don’t feel well physically, life is harder to deal with. You may feel worried, scared, sad or hopeless. That all makes perfect sense.

However, here is a surprising fact: the relationship between pain and mood does not go in one direction. Yes, increased pain often causes an increase in negative mood. But the reverse is also true: anxiety, depression, stress, and negative emotions can also lead to increased pain, inflammation and disability.

The silver lining is that when we attend to mental health as well as physical health, both improve. That’s why Emotional Wellness is one of our 7 Pillars of Care.

Depression and anxiety are common mood disorders for people living with auto-immune conditions like RA, fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis and others. If you experience worry, rumination, hopelessness or fatigue, you are not alone. Many people with chronic inflammatory conditions face the same. What’s most important is not to keep this to yourself. There are many effective treatments and supports for depression and anxiety, and the first step is reaching out.

That’s why we’re here! At Motto, we address your emotional health from multiple angles – because that’s what works. With mental health, there’s no one magic bullet. But there are many strategies that, put together, can help you feel more vibrant and more like yourself again. Here’s what you can expect from us:

Your first two 60-minute Rheumatology visits will be unlike other doctor’s appointments you’ve experienced.

  1. First, we do a comprehensive intake, including a deep dive into your mental health. We want to know about your stress level, moods, emotions and history because all of these can impact your condition.

  2. Next, we give you a full Health Assessment, which includes clarity on your diagnosis and a plan for moving forward. The plan includes next steps for taking care of your physical condition, as well your mental health needs. This plan is unique to you.

What works?

Depending on your specific needs, we offer many different options to address Emotional Wellness.

  1. Medication: There are a number of effective medications that can help to reduce mood disorders associated with auto-immune conditions. These may be an important part of your treatment regimen. If it’s right for you, you will discuss these with your Rheumatologist.

  2. Mental Health Professional: If needed, we can connect you with a professional mental health specialist, including both psychiatrists and therapists.

  3. Personalized Health Coach: At Motto, everyone gets their own personal health coach. Through video visits and anytime messaging, coaches are here to listen and support you in your wellness goals. We have a very large toolbox of Emotional Wellness practices to offer, from helping you cultivate a Mindfulness practice to activities that can help you work with negative thoughts and much more.

  4. Peer Support Groups: We can’t emphasize enough the powerful positive effects that peer support can have. That’s why we have Peer Support Groups for multiple auto-immune conditions. Here, you can feel heard and understood, and share strategies with those who get it.

Here’s what we think is really important: You do not have to be really suffering to get support for your mental and emotional health. If you’re living with an auto-immune condition, it should automatically be part of your care. In our eyes, it’s always an integral part of your care. That’s how we help you thrive.

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