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2October 10, 2009Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain Levels Affect Patient’s Emotional States: Seriously???

Posted Oct 10 2009 12:00am

Are you tired of getting unsolicited advice on how to manage your rheumatoid arthritis? This is the latest piece of advice I received regarding my management of my fragile emotional state with rheumatoid arthritis, along with this article . At least, it wasn’t advice on “ curing my RA ”. Yes, if a cure were a simple as eliminating dairy!  Now that you have laughed your tail bone off, feel free to share your “health advice horror stories.”

Let’s face it; it is not unusual for any person’s emotional health to directly impact their overall physical health. Moreover physical health can adversely affect mental health. For many living with chronic pain conditions, depression is highly likely, but as I learned, from my own experiences and the experiences of others, it is all about attitude. The emotional state article I previously mentioned makes note of feeling emotional disturbances as a result of chronic pain.

Science Daily recently published a release showing severe chronic pain accompanied by progressive destruction, disability and disfigurement is known to increase the risk of experiencing emotional disturbances. For RA patients, they are doubly at risk.

Another report published by BMJ Publishing Group of the Netherlands found that the emotions of patients predicted a decrease of positive results in treatment. Moreover, a stressful emotional state predicted an increase in disease activity. And you know the positive emotional state resulted in better treatment of the disease and a decrease in activity. BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! Yes, we all know a positive attitude plays an important role in the treatment of disease and in the overall activity, but we all have our moments and we all have days where we want to be left alone, and unsolicited advice does not help. Feel free to leave us alone!

A lady I work with told me she has spent the last three years trying to figure out what is wrong with her. She has been told that it “MIGHT BE” symptomatic lupus, but no one has officially diagnosed her. She is having such a hard time and has so many questions, many I am not sure I can ever answer. I told her to hang in there, and to keep trying to find the answers. She is frustrated and tired of spending time she does not have to FIND OUT WHAT IS WRONG WITH HER.

It took me seven years to be officially diagnosed, and I wonder for the life of me why doctors either associate the symptoms of people with autoimmune diseases with either being depressed or being ignorant and then, instead of properly finding a diagnosis, they focus on treating the symptoms. It makes you wonder about why many undiagnosed suffers of autoimmune diseases and other invisible conditions start to have emotional setbacks.

I just had to vent about the ignorance of those who do not what is like to suffer from an autoimmune disease, a chronic condition, or any type of invisible condition. Ignorance is the key word and dismissive attitudes by the doctors, the media and the outside world do not do any justice for those living with destructive conditions, many of which lead to death if improperly diagnosed. If that doesn’t anger you, what does?

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