Community Views: The Impact of Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms
Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is defined by chronic inflammation that affects the joints. It is a chronic autoimmune disease that creates a ripple effect throughout the lives of those living with it.
From physical pain to emotional challenges, PsA has no limits. For most, a PsA diagnosis impacts all aspects of life.
Understanding the impact of PsA symptoms
To better understand the far-reaching effects of PsA symptoms, we turned to followers of our Facebook page. We asked community members to tell us: “Which PsA symptoms have the most effect on your well-being?”
The many responses offered great insight into life with PsA.
Pain and fatigue
By far the top response from community members was the impact of pain and fatigue from PsA. These symptoms drain life and energy from the body, leaving you feeling empty and depleted. Pain and fatigue take a toll on daily tasks.
Crippling pain and exhaustion often cannot be negotiated or worked through. Feeling limited with these symptoms is discouraging.
“I think I’m going to have a good day, go to work, and 2+ hours later feel absolutely whacked!”
“Sometimes the pain just makes me so depressed because I’m limited in what I can do or how much I can do.”
Mental and emotional impact
The pain and fatigue of PsA can also take a huge toll on our mental and emotional health. PsA drains confidence, feelings of self-worth, and impacts relationships. No part of life is left untouched in some way.
Plus, many say brain fog affects their mental focus. Brain fog feels like trying to pull your thoughts through sticky molasses. Nothing is clear, everything is murky, and you cannot track your thought process.
“The mental and emotional impact it has on my life. You can take enough drugs to dull the pain. You can sleep to help the fatigue. I’ve found nothing to help the loneliness.”
“I feel so sad because in my mind I feel so young, but in my body, I’m so broken.”
“My husband has become really great at helping me finish my train of thought and sentences.”
Joint and hand pain
Pain takes many forms with PsA. Many community members say they have the greatest challenge with pain in their joints and hands. The ongoing inflammation makes movement difficult. Our hands can also be very visible reminders of this disease.
It can be frustrating to have trouble holding or retrieving items, stiff or achy fingers, and deformities constantly before you. Our hands are required for so many things, from chopping vegetables to brushing teeth. PsA joint and hand pain can make each daily task more tiring.
“My joints not working properly or just not being able to move them at all.”
“I hate how it affects my hands, feet, and nails. The pain, disfigured fingers, and ugly nails. I’d love a beautiful manicure.”
“The loss of dexterity and grip in my hands.”
We appreciate everyone who took the time to share the ways PsA impacts your well-being with the community. Adding your comments to the discussion helps everyone feel less alone with this often-misunderstood disease.
Wishing you gentle hugs and light pain days.
Do you have a sleep disorder (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your PsA?