It can be challenging to connect with the world when you’re living with arthritis. Research suggests that people who are managing arthritis symptoms may struggle with their relationships. On the flipside, quality of relationships has also been linked to arthritis risk.
As a result, I wanted to explore the link between arthritis and our ability to connect. I quit social media recently to focus on my arthritis and spend more time in-person with the people in my life.
I also asked members of Arthritis Action’s arthritis apps to share photos and stories that reflect the challenges of connecting with the world, despite arthritis. One key theme came through in the stories: The weather and the change in season often present added difficulties.
How to connect with your world
Arthritis can make you feel tired, empty, and hopeless. This can make it hard to get out of bed in the morning. You may feel hesitant or resistant to reach out and connect with others.
It sometimes feels automatic or inevitable to hide when you’re struggling, but there are ways out. Help is available.
Online communities and support groups can be a great source of support if you have arthritis. Especially if your closest friends aren’t local.
Sometimes just getting outdoors into nature is one of the best ways to reconnect with the world, others, and yourself.
And please reach out for professional help if you haven’t already or if your symptoms are severe.
We often see arthritis expressed in black and white photos. Sometimes our mind can fall into those simple extreme binaries.
However, as mentioned above, there is color, there is hope, and there is light.
If you’re experiencing arthritis, help is available. Organizations such as the Arthritis Foundation offer support groups, education, and other resources to help fight arthritis and other illnesses.
For more information on how to manage arthritis, reach out to your doctor or healthcare team.
NPS-US-NP-00621 March 2021