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When Another Medicine Doesn’t Work: Feeling Defeated

Hopeless. Lost. Defeated.

Unfortunately these feelings are not uncommon to me. Sometimes they feel like a vicious cycle of emotions when it comes to pass that another medicine not working for me. Constant streams of questions outweigh the faith I’ve held tightly to in recent months. I hate feeling this way. Four medicines in and it is hard for me to hold onto hope.


I find it hard to believe how much I took simple things for granted before. I used to have the energy to do a whole load of laundry, start to finish. Standing up and walking around my house, completing simple tasks without pain is a thing of the past. Some days I can’t believe how much PsA has turned my life upside down, how much I miss that I never gave a second thought to before. Before PsA, if I was sick, I took my medicine and within a few days, was feeling better again. It never once occurred to me that medicine might not work. I never knew what it would feel like to try multiple medicines, losing hope with each one.


Methotrexate, Arava, Remicade, and now Simponi Aria, something has to work. But what if it doesn’t? What will happen if I never feel better than I do today, right now? How will I manage to continue to hold my family together? All of these unknowns made me feel lost, like I have no idea of the path before me.


I have no control over how my body responds to medicine. I can’t exercise more to make it work. What I eat or how long I sleep will not magically make biologics effective versus ineffective. So then, when yet another medicine doesn’t work, how come I feel so defeated? Like there was something that I did wrong? This doesn’t make logical sense, yet I can’t help feeling this way.

Hope for the hopeless

So, why do I keep trying something else? Why do I continue to research every possible avenue to finally feel better? Here I sit, continuing to try more medicines. I find myself trying to hold fast to the hope that I will find something that helps. I will feel better than I do today. New medicines and discoveries about autoimmune diseases are made everyday. Yes, this medicine did not work, but that doesn’t automatically mean that nothing will.

Perseverance for the defeated

After all, that is something we do have control over. We can control how we choose to look at a situation. We choose to get back up and keep fighting each day. Make a decision to persevere because really, the alternative is failure and I am definitely not okay with that. Sure, it could be years before I find a medicine that works. Beyond that, if I do find one, it may only work for a short time. Or…maybe not. Maybe this medicine will work. Maybe this medicine will help me find the ever elusive “remission.” I will be given my life back.

Well, I can always hope, right?

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