Emotional Health

Chronic pain and fatigue can take an emotional toll as well as a physical one. This section explores the effects of arthritis on your emotional and behavioral health and what can be done about them.

What Is Quality of Life?

by Jackson Rainer, PhD

A woman and her husband sat with their therapist, talking over the impact of her recent diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). “My quality of life is bad and is going to get worse,” she said. “I won’t be able to do the things that I’ve done before.” Throwing up her hands in frustration, she said, […]

Mindfulness and Pain

by Nicola Davies, Ph.D.

Arthritis is one of the world’s leading causes of pain and disability. According to both Arthritis Research U.K. and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S., over nine million people in the U.K. and more than 52 million in the U.S.  suffer from the condition. To those living with arthritis and […]

Effective Listening

by Wendy McBrair, MS, BSN, CHES

How often do you get the sense that a person you’re talking to doesn’t really understand what you’re saying, or trying to say? Have you ever wondered why these misunderstandings occur? While the reasons may be complicated, exploring how and why miscommunication takes place may help reduce the frequency with which it happens. Sometimes the […]

How to Stop Feeling Guilty About Your Arthritis

by Jackson Rainer, PhD, ABPP

Guilt is my middle name,” said Alice, a 45-year-old woman living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). “I feel guilty because I have to depend on other people for so much ordinary, day-to-day help. “I feel it when I can’t enjoy my teenage children like I want. Just last week, my daughter asked me to shop with […]

Personal Relationships

by Wendy McBrair, MS, BSN, CHES

Much is written about the effects of arthritis on the body, mind, and pocketbook. Less is said, however, about the effects arthritis can have on a person’s relationships with his family members, friends, colleagues, and other acquaintances. And yet, having arthritis—or any chronic condition or source of chronic pain—does affect one’s personal relationships. This article […]

Getting the Support You Need

Needing support is part of being human, especially when facing life’s many challenges. If you count arthritis among the challenges you face, your everyday activities may have become painful, working or looking after your family may be difficult, and your personal relationships may be suffering. In situations like these, you could almost certainly benefit from […]

Caring For Yourself Emotionally When You Have a Chronic Condition

by Stefanie Vuotto and Rachel A. Annunziato, PhD

Years of research have demonstrated the strong relationship between physical and emotional health, which runs in both directions: Just as the worsening of physical symptoms can diminish your emotional well-being, improving your emotional state can minimize physical symptoms. The experience of having a painful or physically limiting health condition is no exception to this phenomenon. […]

Relax: Three Stress-Busting Methods

by Linda Wasmer Andrews

Traffic jams, overdue bills, pesky neighbors. People with arthritis face the same daily hassles and hurdles as everyone else. Add joint pain, limited mobility, and medical expenses to the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for chronic stress. The potential consequences of long-term stress include an increase in arthritis-related pain and depression as well as […]

Neutralizing Stigma

by Jackson Rainer, PhD

Stigma. What an ugly word. The very sound of it reflects its hateful meaning. Stigma is an unfavorable assessment of a person that is based on a particular attribute, usually one that marks the person as different from others. This article discusses stigma as the negative perception or judgment someone without arthritis might have about […]

Counseling: An Integral Part of Arthritis Care

by David Wayne Smith, DEd, DABPS, DACFE, Jeffrey Lisse, MD, Cydney Lamb, MA, CRC, Gina Corteza, and John Polle, BA

In recent months, your arthritis has been seriously affecting your quality of life. Pain is affecting your ability to do your job, and your lack of energy and loss of ability to do things around the house is putting strain on your relationship with your spouse. Upon hearing how things have been going, your rheumatologist […]

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