Ignorining my pain, not such a good thing

I’ve had psoriatic arthritis since 2006, so I’ve gotten used to a certain level of pain and other symptoms. I’ve always tried to hide my pain because I didn't want people feeling sorry for me. After a while I did't even realize I was trying to hide it because I'd forget about it all together unless my pain levels were quite high. I just wanted to be strong and go on with life like any other healthy person.

The impact of psoriatic arthritis pain on my mental health

I used to think this was a good thing until one day my husband said why are you so angry and stressed out lately. I thought to myself, I have nothing going on at work or with friends or family to be stressed about. Then I realized I was in quite a bit of pain, but was so used to ignoring it that I didn't realize how I was taking it out on others or how it was affecting my mood. I wondered how many other times I was coming across as irritable or stressed and thought this needed to change.

Sharing more about PsA with loved ones

Now I try to pay more attention, but not dwell on my pain, which is a delicate balance. I found that when I tell others I’m in pain and I don't want any sympathy, it’s really helped them and me. I tell them I’m just letting them know because I may seem irritable or quiet and don’t want them to think it's about them. It has really improved my relationships because people feel honored that I’d share something I used to feel weak or vulnerable about. A few people even told me that they have thought I was upset with them in the past and I don’t ever want that to happen again. Being self aware and honest with myself and others has really made life with psoriatic arthritis a little easier for everyone.

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