Life Altering Side Effects of Psoriatic Arthritis
Last updated: December 2021
What does life with psoriatic arthritis look like? What does it feel like? With so many symptoms, treatments and side effects, how does this affect what life looks like for us?
Carrying around the burden of chronic illness doesn’t just add doctor appointments, medical bills, and strained relationships it changes how we live our life every single day.
What daily life looks like with PsA
Obviously, getting out of bed is probably the biggest struggle every single day. That is a given. But I am constantly surprised at how, even with medicine, there seem to be a million things I try to do daily that are much more difficult when you have psoriatic arthritis.
Here are a few different life-altering side effects that come as a result of life with psoriatic arthritis.
Without a doubt, the longer you live with psoriatic arthritis, the greater the toll it takes on relationships. Friends that fully support us start to wither away when they see that perhaps we aren’t as reliable or fun as we once were.
Unfortunately, I’ve lost more “friends” than I can count over the years. And I’m sure many of you have too. Psoriatic arthritis has a way of whittling down those friends that we can count on the most.
Mental health challenges
Prior to PsA, I was literally known by the nickname, “Rainbows and Sunshine.” I kid you not. Now, it feels like it is a rarity that I can even see the sun through the clouds. 24/7 pain takes a toll on your mental health in a way that you can not even imagine unless you live with it.
Psoriatic arthritis presents a smorgasbord of challenges to our mental health: anxiety about the future, depression over lost friends and missed activities, on top of years of misdiagnoses and dismissive doctor appointments.
Job changes and job loss
I spent my entire early adulthood working towards my BA in Education, and later, my Masters in Education. I had a career and worked very hard at my teaching job for over 15 years. Now as a side effect to my PsA, I can no longer teach in the traditional sense, or use the degrees I worked so hard to earn.
I’ve had to change how I think about and earn money, not to mention insurance, because of my psoriatic arthritis.
Misrepresentaion and stigma
Doctors often make assumptions when we mention fatigue and pain. For example, if you are overweight, many doctors will blame your pain solely on your weight. Or in my case, I struggled quite a lot in my early 20’s with fatigue, despite being a full-time student and working full time, I was labeled “depressed.”
Sometimes they are simultaneously right, sometimes they are wrong. Either way, PsA is rarely diagnosed right out of the gate, so to speak.
Possibly a complete wreck of a house
Maybe I’m just speaking for myself here, but geez. With 5 people, three under the age of 11, living under the same roof, and me living with PsA, our home seems to always be a disaster. I’m not going to lie. It could be that even without my psoriatic arthritis that our house would be a disaster.
However, at least at this point, it is as convenient an excuse as any. Maybe the answer will be clearer once the three tornadoes have left home.
Side effects of psoriatic arthritis
When the day is done, what do we have to show? We carried the burden of psoriatic arthritis for another day. We continued to climb that mountain. Hopefully, we came out the other side, ready for a new day tomorrow.
After years of living with PsA, these are just a few life-altering side effects that I’ve experienced because of psoriatic arthritis. What have you experienced? Please share in the comments so we don’t all feel so alone!
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