Psoriatic Arthritis Apathy
At its basic level, apathy is a general disinterest or disconcern about something. See the definition below:
Noun: lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern.
Synonyms: indifference, unconcern, detachment
You can have apathy towards any number of things. For example, you could be apathetic towards celebrities, wherein you aren’t concerned with their daily dramas. You really couldn’t care less about who is dating whom. You aren’t interested in the latest gossip magazine headlines.
In that case, perhaps apathy isn’t such a bad thing. But what about if you have psoriatic arthritis?
Applying apathy to psoriatic arthritis?
When it comes to managing your psoriatic arthritis, apathy can be a very dangerous thing. It puts not only your daily health but your very life at risk. Being disinterested or unconcerned about your disease is dangerous and interferes with effective disease management.
Being unmotivated to treat or manage your psoriatic arthritis, whether you’ve been diagnosed for a few months or many years, can be one of the first signs of apathy and even depression.
Psoriatic arthritis apathy is a very real thing
Apathy towards managing your psoriatic arthritis is a very real and understandable thing. After all, living day in and day out with psoriatic arthritis is downright exhausting.
It is a disease that requires care from multiple doctors on top of routine and unending lab work and tests. Not to mention both preventative and restorative surgeries and procedures.
What does psoriatic arthritis apathy look like?
Aside from the obvious physical health risks associated with being apathetic towards your psoriatic arthritis, there is a clear risk towards your mental health. Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis apathy can include:
- Avoidance or refusal to make or keep appointments with doctors or lab testing
- Making conscious choices to ignore symptoms of disease progression like new swollen joints or patches of psoriasis
- Showing a lack of concern for one’s own physical or mental health
- Lack of motivation to manage your psoriatic arthritis
- Friends or family voicing concern about your health or well-being
Living with psoriatic arthritis, and all that it entails is exhausting. Keeping up with the basic rheumatology appointments is challenging enough. No one would argue that.
Apathy towards disease management
Disease management takes us to many other specialists such as GI doctors, ENT’s, and cardiologists. They all have their own set of tests to run and diagnoses to add to the growing list.
Stating comments like: Just forget it!, It’s too much!, It’s too difficult!, Nothing can help anyway. and I just don’t care anymore.
It is totally understandable why you would feel like all you can do is throw up your hands in surrender.
Accountable for apathy
This, my friends, is psoriatic arthritis apathy. It is a very real thing and it is deadly. If you feel you are experiencing this, take a step back. Speak with friends, connect with the psoriatic arthritis community, and get some support. You are not in this alone.
Be accountable to someone and tell them when you’ve made (and attended) doctor appointments.
You are not alone
If you ever find yourself in this situation, routinely having these thoughts, canceling or not scheduling your appointments, or even refusing to take your meds, you are not alone.
This happens to all of us at one time or another, but the important thing to do is recognize it. Listen when friends or family voice their concerns and seek help.
How do you plan to recognize PsA Awareness Month?