We’ve looked at ways to manage arthritis pain in Arthritis: Easing the Pain. But the pain of arthritis often goes beyond the physical. Emotional upset and feelings of loss — even despair — are often associated with chronic illness, and arthritis is no exception.
Arthritis can be debilitating physically — and this can lead to a very real sense of loss: loss of self-respect, sports or recreational activities, or even meaningful employment. Many arthritis sufferers experience depression, sleep disorders, loss of appetite, mood swings, poor self-image, and drug or alcohol abuse.
Yet experts say there are things you can do to help overcome the emotional pain associated with arthritis. Here are seven tips from the Arthritis Society.
7 tips to ease the emotional pain
Educate yourself. As with any aspect of your health, having knowledge about your condition is key to managing your emotions and sense of control. Consult with your health care professionals and if possible, supplement this information by researching reliable sites online or at your local library.
Stay active. Activity is a great cure for the blues. Make a list of goals and activities for the day — and do as many of them as you can. Don’t be too ambitious and make your list too long, as this is an invitation for failure — and more feelings of inadequacy. And finally, as much as possible, make sure to include activities on your list that you really like to do.
Keep a daily log to track pain, fatigue, sleep and activity. Understanding fluctuations in your daily routine will help you to manage physical pain — and also give you a better sense of control over your life.
Copyright 2014 ZoomerMedia Limited