Communicating in Relationships with Psoriatic Arthritis
I have been living with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) for a few decades now. Living with this brings many challenges. It doesn't only affect your physical health. Your personal relationships can be damaged. This could include navigating relationships with friends, family, and partners. It can be difficult to communicate the effects of PsA on our bodies and gets even more difficult to explain to others. As you know, it impacts our daily life. How can others offer support which is very crucial for building and maintaining healthy relationships?
What has helped me in my relationships?
As someone with PsA, I've found that honesty and open communication are key. It's important to let your loved ones, friends, and colleagues know how you're feeling. Also, how your condition affects your daily life. This can help them better understand what you're going through and offer their support.
This can include limitations on physical activity and difficulty with tasks such as fine motor skills and fatigue. By opening up about these challenges, loved ones can have a better understanding of how to provide support, whether it's by offering to help with small tasks or simply being there to listen.
How much is too much information?
However, it can be tough to strike a balance between sharing enough information and overwhelming others. They might not care about the details of our condition. I've found it helpful to share information in small doses and be patient as others process and ask questions. There are people who just don't want to hear about your issues or what you are going through.
It's also important to recognize that not everyone will be understanding or supportive. Some people may not understand the extent of your condition. Or they may not believe that it's a legitimate health concern. We know it can be challenging, but it's important to surround yourself with people who are supportive and understanding.
How can psoriatic arthritis affect romantic relationships?
Partners can also be an important source of support. But it can be challenging to communicate about psoriatic arthritis within an intimate relationship. In romantic relationships, communication becomes even more important. It can be helpful to have open and honest conversations about how the condition affects intimacy. This is both physical and emotional.
It's essential to have honest conversations about how PsA affects your sex life and intimacy. And overall physical and emotional health. Your partner may not fully understand what you're going through. But being open and honest can help them better support you. Very important to address any concerns or fears that may arise in either partner. Work together to find ways to navigate these challenges. I have heard this several times, well you were okay yesterday. Sometimes they just don't get it.
How has communication helped me?
Communication is key in navigating relationships with psoriatic arthritis - by being open and honest. Individuals with psoriatic arthritis can build a supportive network of friends, family, and partners who can help them navigate the challenges of living with the condition. It's possible to build and maintain healthy, fulfilling relationships. I have been with my husband for 26 years. It took love and patience to get here, but we did it.
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