An anxious man looks at a multitude of floating screens with information as he tries to make a decision

Decision Fatigue: What It Is and A Few Ways to Get Past It

I almost hesitate to bring up the f-word again. No, not that one. I’m talking about fatigue.

Fatigue is a common symptom that we all face in so many different ways. Fatigue is layered and those with PsA, well, we manage them all. This includes physical fatigue, treatment fatigue, and now bum bum bum, decision fatigue.

A look at decision fatigue

Decision fatigue is not just something those of us with psoriatic arthritis experience, I totally get that. However, the consequences of making the “wrong” decision are a few notches worse on the consequence scale.

If we make the wrong decision about what we can do in a day, then we can be out of commission for anything from a few days to a month or even more. And I have to say, the average daily decisions pale in comparison to treatment decisions and the potential heavy consequences of making the wrong ones.

For those with PsA, we also need to decide what we can do and continuously ask ourselves if we are willing to pay the price to do them. And if we happen to be wrong? The consequences are a painful flare, additional missed activities, piled on guilt, and stressed relationships.

These types of decisions weigh differently

Leaving treatment decisions to the doctor? An unfortunate and potential reality. While having a voice in the treatment decisions is obviously important, some doctors have swung the other way. This happens when patients get handed a stack of medication brochures and are then told to pick one. These are big-time, complex decisions I’m talking about people!

These decisions are multi-tiered. We spend sometimes years pre-diagnosis searching for answers. We have no idea the number of decisions we need to make once we have them. Each one of these decisions and each step along the way, if they turn out to be the wrong ones, can be detrimental to our health.

I suppose I could go on and on listing all the important decisions that come with daily life with psoriatic arthritis. But I’m sure you are aware of most of them by this point.

So, what can we do here? How can we take care of ourselves?

Decision fatigue can quickly spiral downward into self-doubt, stress, and you guessed it, flares. So the question now is, what can I do now that I’ve realized that I’ve been knocked over the head with decision fatigue? No worries dear friends- I’ve got you covered!

Back away from the internet

If you are suffering from decision fatigue, the internet is not your friend. At this point, more research will not make your decisions any easier. Looking through all the data on 8-10 different biologics will likely not make your decision any easier or even more “right.”

Give it time

Some of the best decisions that we make involve not making a decision at all. In a world that constantly screams in our faces to do this or do that. Often the best thing for us is to do nothing at all. If we just give it some time, things have a way of playing out all on their own.

Stand by your faith

As a religious person, I do find great comfort in the phrase, “Let go and let God.” While not necessarily one to wait for “signs” and such, I do find that when I am struggling with especially the more difficult decisions, if I turn it over to faith, I do feel better. Having a little faith can bring much peace if you are suffering from a bad case of decision fatigue.

Give the reins over to someone else for a little while

Honestly, this is my personal favorite. Turning over some of the decision-making reins to a trusted family member or friend (if only for a little while) can feel like a 50-pound load has been lifted from your shoulders.

So now, I need to end this article, but I just can’t decide how. See what I did there?

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