5 Don'ts for Life with Psoriatic Arthritis
Lists tend to get a lot of flack, but the simple act of listing things out has some psychological and productivity benefits all by itself. You may have noticed my preferred love of lists, based on my previous article, 5 Do’s for Life with Psoriatic Arthritis.
With that in mind, here is my favorite list of 5 Don'ts for Life with Psoriatic Arthritis.
#1. Don’t get discouraged
It is very easy to find ourselves living in the “perfect world” bubble where we can simply take our medicine and get better. But sadly, psoriatic arthritis doesn’t work that way. New treatment can take months to begin “working”.
It is easy, especially after trying several medications unsuccessfully, to get discouraged. Do your best to pick yourself up and keep going. Keep trying new things, and when you are ready, set your discouragement aside and move forward.
#2. Don’t wait to begin treating it
No matter which method you choose, don’t wait to begin treating your psoriatic arthritis. The longer you delay treatment, the great risk you run of doing permanent damage to your joints. Make the necessary changes to your diet and lifestyle that focus on eliminating sources of inflammation.
Seek advice from your doctor about the appropriate medications to fight the destruction of your joints. Don’t wait until it is too late. You can’t get that time back or undo the damage once it has been done.
#3. Don't be afraid to get a second opinion
Psoriatic arthritis is extremely difficult not only to diagnose but also to treat. If you aren’t happy with your doctor, explore other options and don’t be afraid to get a second, third, or fourth opinion. The relationship that you develop with your rheumatologist and your health care team will make all the difference.
Get all the opinions you need until you feel comfortable with the answers and quality of care that you receive.
#4. Don't forget to protect your mental health
Many people underestimate the level to which psoriatic arthritis affects your mental and emotional health. I was blindsided shortly after diagnosis with debilitating anxiety. It is imperative that you take clear measures to protect your mental health.
Your PsA and mental health are linked more than you can imagine and if you don’t take steps to protect your mental health, then you might find yourself paying the price later. Don’t make the mistake of thinking, “No, this doesn’t apply to me. I’m doing fine.” When you prioritize and protect your mentality, it will make more of a difference than you might realize.
#5. Don't get overwhelmed with the internet
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times. Don’t fall down the rabbit hole of the internet. It is too easy to get overwhelmed with too much information.
You can quickly find yourself saddled with a hefty doom and gloom attitude. With all of the medical language and long lists of side effects, everything can quickly mound up around us making it nearly impossible to make good choices about our physical and mental health.
What about you? What is on your list of don'ts for life with psoriatic arthritis?
Do you regularly track your psoriatic arthritis symptoms?