Rheumatoid Arthritis, depression and SWEATING!

Frose Member Posts: 14
edited 27. Nov 2015, 07:07 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi All,

I'm after a bit of support. I'm struggling with pain and depression. Before I was diagnosed with RA in June this year I found it hard to get going in the morning due to depression, now it's even harder with the pain and stiffness. I think things have come to a head over the pat week or so because I'm off work sick again and feel terribly guilty for not being at work.

I feel like I should pull myself together and snap out of it. I just want to cry. Friends ask me to do things with them and I like being busy and going on adventures, but I'm just not as able to and they forget, all the time. I don't begrudge them, I just feel a sense of loss. I'm only 32, I can't believe this has happened to me at this age. Those are my darkest thoughts...

I can be positive, I am generally quite a positive person. I practice mindfulness and try to do a small amount of yoga. I know that treatment is a lot better now than it used to be... I know that my nurse is aiming for me to be symptom free.... It just feels so long away.
And the sweating!!! Oh my days! Does anyone else feel like they have a furnace inside them?? Having sweat trickling down my face on a daily basis just feels horrible!!

I'm in the process of appealing my PIP decision, which is pretty stressful... I feel like you have to go to some pretty dark places to 'explain yourself'..

Thanks everyone x


  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,219
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Frose and welcome to the forum :D

    You describe yourself as 'generally quite a positive person' and say you 'practice mindfulness and try to do a small amount of yoga'. I'd say you're on the right track for coping well with your RA. All of this will help a lot.

    However, you are not long diagnosed and it sounds as if the meds (which meds?) have not properly kicked in yet. It can take time. Meanwhile you have to be a bit more gentle with yourself. Arthritis of any kind thrives on stress. Some of it is inevitable but do try not to feel guilty when you are unfit for work. You are ill. It would be lovely if we could all just 'pull ourselves together and snap out of it' but that's just cloud cuckoo land. Take it from one who has had it for far too long :roll:

    Friends, family, colleagues – no, they don't 'get it' because they don't have it. There will be things you can't do. All we can do is explain and try to make people understand that we do still like to be asked because, on another day, we might be able to go. We have to achieve a balance between not becoming a recluse (or, worse, a moaning recluse :lol: ) and not trying to pretend all is OK. If you google The Spoon Theory and / or There's a Gorilla in My House they give others some idea of how things are for us.

    If you were already suffering from depression before diagnosis then the diagnosis won't have helped one bit. (Most people do it the other way round. :wink: ) As I said before, be gentle with yourself. Don't expect too much of yourself right now. Things will get better once you are properly established on the right meds. They won't be rushed.

    Have you tried clicking on the 'managing arthritis' button (dark blue) above. There are some very useful ideas there in all sorts of areas.

    (I've never experienced sweating with my RA. Might it be more to do with medication? Are you taking steroids?)
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, you're welcome to join my boat, there's plenty of room :wink: I am nineteen years in with psoriatic arthritis, that led to osteo in some useful joints, both have led to fibromyalgia, depression (tick) and sweating (tick). Life is not a barrel of laughs by any means though it still has its better moments.

    Your diagnosis is recent, you are new to all of this, the meds may not yet have really kicked in (or even worse they have and not a lot has changed for you) - this is a big deal and of course your friends cannot understand. For them they fall ill, they go to the docs, they take some pills and lo! they are healed and able to return to their normal life after some bothersome inconvenience. It doesn't work that way for us because the bothersome inconvenience stays regardless of what we try to do to boot it out. Any auto-immune arthritis is an unwelcome permanent lodger but in this day and age the sooner one begins the meds the better the outcome may be in terms of reducing joint damage - that is the key.

    You are doing all the right things to help yourself but it is a steep learning curve, especially if you are coming at this from a healthy background. I've never known good health and never will, but the diagnosis of OA in 2011 hit me really hard. I have been on a steady low dose of an anti-depressant med since then and it does help me deal better with things. Much to my surprise (and my husband's) I threw a hissy-fit yesterday in flinging my rollator down some steps - I let the inner toddler loose and it felt grand! :D (Note to self, do more often, being forever cheerful and upbeat is not a good thing.)

    Please stay with us for a while, you are talking to the initiated on here, we do know what it's like and can truly empathise. Go and have a chat with your GP about some anti-deps, as far as I am concerned they are part of our drug arsenal and nothing to be ashamed about. I wish you well. DD
  • LignumVitae
    LignumVitae Member Posts: 1,972
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Frose,

    Welcome from me too. I'm 36 (she says counting on her fingers) and was diagnosed at 21 so in the long haul but not miles beyond you in years... unless you count 35 as the otherside of the hill :?

    I don't know if this would work with you but I have one friend I keep in the arthritic loop. She is that lovely and compassionate friend we all hope for. She doesn't understand arthritis but she does understand how I feel about it. This means that she knows I want to go out but that sometimes I can't and that I will cancel at the last minute. She is the person I will text that morning adn say 'things aren't great, not sure I will make it' and she often tries to help by offering lifts etc. If she can't then she will at least be understanding enough to say 'OK I'm sorry, hopefully next time'. It took me a while to get to the point where I had this useful friend because sometimes I think I end up feeling the odd one out and projecting that a bit so I feel there is a barrier to overcome and in turn so do my friends. With many, one in particular, there still is a barrier of misunderstanding and miscommunication but with this one I at least have a link and it makes me going/not being able to go but communicate that I would like to and don't want to be forgotten about, much easier. Is there one friend or two that you could try and forge such a link with?

    Arthritis is a very strange beast to live with and I'm still not comfortable with it. I think much of the fight, beyond the physical one is about perceptions, both yours and others. I had a struggle with my Mum that went on for many years where she didn't want me to be arthritic and so minimised it or denied it whilst clearly trying to help. Sometimes it came out in the cruelest of ways and hurt me much. I see now, as she has learned to accept it and now I am a Mum, what the strange place she was coming for was.

    You have much confusion around you right now and that you are here, saying you acknowledge that is a huge thing. Well done. Keep talking, to us, to your medical team (tell them about the sweating) and to your friends and family. You are doing really well at a time when things are extremely hard. I still have an internal conversation with myself regularly where I tell myself to snap out of it. That usually just makes it all worse because you can't it is real and you aren't being a bit soft. If we could snap out of it we would. We can't but we can find a way to keep going when we are struggling and you will do that, just take it a day at a time and know you aren't alone even if you feel it.

  • Frose
    Frose Member Posts: 14
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks everyone, it's really helpful to hear.

    I have got a couple of close friends, and thankfully my long-term boyfriend is very understanding and we have a good relationship, dunno what I'd do without it. I do have a couple of friends I feel comfortable talking to about arthritis.

    I have anti-depressants which I have recently increased. I've started browsing Pinterest which has helpful information for arthritis and is also a mine of motivational quotes :P

    Thanks again
    Fi x
  • Starburst
    Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Frose,

    Welcome to the forum; I hope you will find it to be a supportive and caring place. I do think that initial few months post-diagnosis are the most tricky as you try to get your head around what is happening to you. My experience is that it does get easier as you learn to adjust to your new normal.

    Depression and low mood is common in RA and you've probably had a whirlwind few months with your physical health, so it's not surprising that you're struggling. Please take it easy and be kind to yourself, especially about work. I know a few of us have had to take time off sick and I know the guilt is hard but overall, I'm sure you will feel physically and mentally stronger when you are able to return. I was off sick for 6 weeks over the summer and it felt like a disaster. I can now look back and see that it helped me carry on and I was actually at breaking point. I am now in a much better position.

    You're not alone on here and we are always here to listen. Take care.