Managing Arthritis

Managing Arthritis

Coming down with a cold or the flu means patients can expect to feel better at some point. When dealing with a chronic disease such as arthritis, there is often no end in sight for relief. But just because there is no cure for arthritis does not mean it should take over a patient’s life. At Site of United States, arthritis is one of the most common chronic pain conditions that our pain management specialists treat.

For patients who are suffering from arthritis, pain and fatigue may become a frequent part of the day. Physical changes from the disease process may also affect one’s appearance. These changes can diminish positive self-image. When you don’t feel good about yourself, you may prefer isolation and withdraw from friends and social activities.

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Chronic illness also can influence how patients function at work. Morning stiffness decreased the range of motion, and other physical limitations may require modified work activities and environment. Decreased ability to work can lead to financial difficulties. For the homemaker, a specific task may take much longer to accomplish. Patients may need the help of their spouse, a relative, or a home health care provider. As one’s life changes, one may feel a loss of control and become anxious about the uncertainty of what lies ahead.

Stress is another aspect. Dealing with arthritis can make stress build and influence how one feel’s about life. Prolonged stress can lead to frustration, anger, hopelessness, and, at times, depression. But the person with the illness is not the only one affected. Family members are also influenced by the changes in the health of a loved one.

Patients who feel less able to cope with their arthritis should seek help as soon as possible. Taking this kind of action early will enable them to understand and deal with the many effects of a chronic illness. Learning to manage stress will help them maintain a positive physical, emotional, and spiritual outlook on life.

A provider of mental health care can design a treatment plan to meet a patient’s specific needs. Strategies can be designed to help regain a sense of control over life and even improve quality of life.

There are many types of help available for people with chronic illnesses, such as support groups and individual counseling. Support groups provide an environment where one can learn new ways of coping with their illness. Sometimes people have problems that are better addressed in a one-on-one atmosphere. By participating in individual counseling, patients may be able to express sensitive or private feelings they have about their illness and its impact on their lifestyle and relationships.

Again, patients should always seek help as soon as they feel less able to cope. Talk to a mental health professional. He or she can design a treatment plan to meet specific needs. Strategies can be designed to help patients regain a sense of control. At times, if depression is present, medications other than those treating arthritis may be ordered to help lift the mood.

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