Fatigue, It Gets the Best of Me

One of the greatest battles I have faced with psoriatic arthritis is fatigue. It has affected me in ways that I never even knew were possible. Who would have ever thought that being "tired" could have such a great impact on your world? The thing is though, that fatigue is so much more than tired. In my experience, fatigue has been one of the most frustrating and damaging parts of my journey with psoriatic arthritis.

Being in constant pain is draining and exhausting beyond measure. There has been very little that I have been able to do to manage my fatigue over the years. As the major spells of fatigue move in with psoriatic arthritis flares, I try and find ways to manage them.

Understanding what fatigue feels like and how it affects my body has been paramount to understanding what I can do and when I need to rest.

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How do I find ways to get more rest?

While finding time, between work, home, and life to rest more can prove to be very challenging, it pays off for me. More rest is the only way I manage through major flares. This does not necessarily mean that you need to sleep more, although that does wonders. Resting can also look like taking more breaks while working, or doing housework. Sitting down and allowing your body to take a moment to rest while you would normally be standing. If you can get in some more sleep at night, that can make a big difference to managing your fatigue and pain. Although those are the very things that make it harder to sleep. It could become a bit of a vicious circle so take care of your sleep hygiene.

So what does fatigue feel like?

When it hits badly, fatigue can feel like it has sucked the very life force out of you. My arms feel like I cannot lift them. Getting out of bed to get showered and ready for work is a near-impossible task. Some days it has been so bad that I cannot go to work or get through my daily tasks. This in turn means that everything heaps up while I do on the essentials to get through the day. Yesterday you could walk 10 minutes to keep moving and today, there is nothing. No energy left in your battery to even make a cup of coffee. Even if you could, no matter how much coffee you drink, it is not going to help much.

How does it impact me mentally?

These things all take their toll on our mental health, not being able to do the things we need to do. The things that we could do just last week. Our household chores build up, we have not been able to shower for 2 days and work wants to know when we will be back. Our children have eaten a takeout 3 days in a row. No one is harder on us than ourselves. Take care of your mental health, and reach out for help if you need it. Lean on the people around you and get into the habit of being kind to yourself. We do the best we can with what we have at our disposal at the time.

How can you support someone with psoriatic arthritis fatigue?

If you have gotten this far it is not you who suffers from this extreme fatigue. This is a note to remind you that your kindness and understanding can go so far for someone in need. Be kind, hold their hand, and help where you can. Cook a meal and don't be too hard on the ones you love.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Psoriatic-Arthritis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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