From left to right: an Adult, Black, Female takes a nap with her cat; an Adult, Female listens to music/podcast while relaxing in a window seat and looking out the window; an Adult, POC Latinx, Male takes an epsom salt bath and relaxes with a face mask on and candles.

What I Do When Psoriatic Arthritis Makes Me Feel Like Giving Up

Last updated: May 2023

Living with psoriatic arthritis is challenging. And while I would rather not admit it, there are times when it can make me feel like giving up. The pain, stiffness, and fatigue can drain all the energy out of me. Not just my physical energy but also my emotional, which makes it hard to keep a positive attitude.

If you are struggling, remember that you are not alone. With time, patience, and compassion, we can all get through the challenges of living with psoriatic arthritis. And by sharing our strategies, we can help each find the sun behind the rain and focus on the things that bring joy to our lives.

When PsA hits too hard, and I've had enough...

I have developed coping strategies over the past twenty years to help me deal with these challenging moments. My life with psoriatic arthritis has been and will continue to be a difficult journey. But these strategies have helped manage the pain, stress, and emotional toll it takes on me.

Accepting my emotions, practicing self-care, reaching out to others for support, and reflecting on my journey have helped me cope during the dark moments. Here’s what I do when psoriatic arthritis makes me feel like giving up.

Acceptance & acknowledgement

One of the first things I do when the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis overwhelm me is to allow myself to feel what I am feeling. Without judgment or guilt, I let those feelings flow. Denying or suppressing my emotions only makes things worse.

Instead, I acknowledge that feeling sad, frustrated, or angry with the situation is okay. By accepting my feelings, I can process them and see my current situation more clearly.

Practice self-care

Nurturing my body with nutritious food, restful sleep, exercise, and relaxation techniques is another critical aspect of managing psoriatic arthritis. When I feel like giving up, I make sure to prioritize self-care activities that help me feel better physically and mentally.

For me, that means taking warm Epsom salt baths, doing gentle yoga, and planning my next visit to Disneyland.

Connect with others who live with PsA

Living with psoriatic arthritis has been, for the most part, an isolating experience for me. It has only been recently that someone I personally knew was also diagnosed with it. When I feel down, I remind myself that I am not alone in this journey.

Connecting with others who have psoriatic arthritis in forums like this one has been an excellent way to gain perspective, share experiences, and receive validation of my feelings.

Take a stroll down memory lane

Sometimes I reflect on hard times and reminisce on the moments that brought me comfort, hope, and joy. I also remind myself of my resilience and strength when faced with complex challenges. Just because psoriatic arthritis is a progressive disease, it doesn’t mean that my life with it has only been a downhill path.

There have been a few instances where my body responded well to a treatment that allowed me to live with less pain and gave me the ability to do more. My trips down memory lane are also excellent reminders that there is always hope for a better tomorrow.

Permission to take it one day at a time

Lastly, I remind myself that psoriatic arthritis is a chronic illness requiring ongoing care and management. Permitting myself to take things one day at a time is a powerful way to reduce stress and overwhelm.

I tune out unrealistic expectations of those who don’t have PsA. And instead, reach out to others who are also living with psoriatic arthritis for support.

This or That

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