Mental health and wellbeing is something that as time has gone on has become highlighted and more awareness have been created. I think that it is one of the most important things that has happened in our world. Speaking about and attempting to remove the stigma that has surrounded it for so long is vital to the survival of our mental health. Especially in this fast-paced modern world. Our emotional well-being dictates the state of mind we find ourselves in. This, in turn, affects our day to day living, the kind of people we are, how we parent and how we treat the ones we love. It affects our jobs, how we do them and how we interact with the people at them. My humble opinion is this creates a cycle and it is not always a good one.
The emotional warfare that goes inside most of us is something to behold. Suffering from both plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis has challenged me in ways I never thought it would. Truly never understanding the effect of pain on my emotional state was probably one of my life’s greatest misjudgments. Battling the day to day emotions from why is this happening to me, to blaming the world has been nothing short of challenging. Daily emotions would range from happy, glad and content, to angry, sad and often bitter. Talking about the effect these conditions have had on my psyche has never been something that comes easy to me. I would often feel that talking or unloading my feelings on to those around me would make me a burden to them.
Breaking the silence
Being a strong person by nature and coming from a family of very strong-minded people, led me to feel that talking about feeling weak was something that would make me weak. I could not have been more wrong. Over the years I have come to realize that talking about how I feel is a good thing. Given I am very select about this, there is no going around telling everyone my deepest fears and feelings. I have also found that I do not want to talk about it all the time. It is up to us, to decide who we want to speak to and how often we want to do this. Set a pace that works for you. I found that talking about it too often would just send me further into a downward spiral.
Taking action to address mental health
So much of our mental health depends on us. We have more power than what we could ever imagine and not enough credit is given to the small things that we can do every day to help ourselves. I found that writing down three things every morning helped me refocus my mind off the things I can’t do anymore. Allowing it to set the focus on what I can do and the good in my day. Also going for walks when my sore feet allowed and deep breathing exercises can go a long way to helping manage your day to day life. While these things alone might not be very effective, banding them all together along with having someone to talk to can really make a difference.
Reach out for help
Learning to recognize when I am not coping is the single-handed the most helpful thing that I taught myself. Learning to see the signs and act on them sooner rather than later is so important. This can often be the difference between a bad day and a bad week. If you do not want to talk to someone you know, reach out to your online community. There are also helplines you can call and just vent about how you are feeling and get an objective opinion. There is no need to suffer in silence anymore. There is so much help out there, all you have to do is reach your hand out.
Do you have a sleep disorder (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your PsA?