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Supporting a partner struggling with PsA and depression

Lottie19Lottie19 Posts: 2
edited 1. Sep 2019, 13:23 in Chat to our Helpline Team
Hi - wondered if there is a thread (sorry if I’ve missed it) for partners of people with arthritis? My partner is quite young and has been diagnosed with PsA (with rheum symptoms but not psoriasis as yet) and is, I think, suffering from severe depression. I’m not really sure how to help (everything I suggest is rejected e.g. seeing a counsellor and/or a nutritionist) and am keen to talk to anyone else who is in the same position. We have a young child and I fear for our future as a family if this downward spiral continues. I hope things will improve if/when we get to a biologic but currently on the second DMARD which seems to be doing very little beyond awful side effects. Thanks

Comments

  • helpline_teamhelpline_team Posts: 2,019
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi lottie19
    Thanks for your forum message, no need to apologise- the forum can sometimes be less easy to navigate. We don’t have a specific thread for partners, the living with arthritis forum is a place you could find out about how people who have arthritis and how they manage. You can access the forum through this link https://arthritiscareforum.org.uk/viewforum.php?f=8

    Long-term conditions can have a huge impact on our emotional wellbeing and present relationship challenges. Caring for someone with arthritis and knowing how ‘best’ to support someone can be difficult. We are really sorry to hear how this is impacting on your partner. You might find it helpful to look at our information on 'caring for someone' with arthritis or 'emotional well-being'.
    The following links will take you to our info on emotional well-being and caring for someone with arthritis:
    https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/living-with-arthritis/carers/
    https://www.versusarthritis.org/search?query=emotional+well-being
    You may also find it helpful to either approach the organisation Carers UK or Papaa who support carers and people with Psoriatic Arthritis. You are welcome to give us a call on our helpline: 0800 520 5200 (9am-8pm weekdays) here we can take our time to talk things through informally and in confidence.
    Best wishes
    Catherine
    Helpline Advisor
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, I am so sorry that someone else is allowing their diagnosis to dominate and spoil all your lives but it is a tough thing with which to come to terms. I was OK when my first arthritis started back in 1997 - it was finally diagnosed in 2006 as psoriatic - and that changed nothing, not the meds nor my feelings about it because it was always on the cards. What sent me plummeting into depression was the diagnosis of osteoarthritis in 2011 because I had no idea one could do the double.

    I have always regarded the arthritis as my problem and have always done my best to not let it interfere too much with our lives but sometimes it does because it is with me every day. You do not mention your partner's gender but if he is male then it will be a very tough and challenging time for him. Males are not renowned for talking about feelings let alone discussing those which hint at personal frailty, weakness, possible failure. It takes time to think through a diagnosis, especially if one has not had any health troubles before.

    I was born with eczema and developed asthma aged seven which is why further auto-immune inflammatory stuff was not surprising. PsA affects the joints in a different way to RA and it is possible to have it without the skin trouble: I do and so does a friend. He was diagnosed far quicker than me and started the meds faster, twelve years or so on he is still working full-time fitting kitchens, still being sporty and not in any pain.

    The partners of those who have been diagnosed do sometimes post but don't stay as here is not really much we can do: we all get it because we've all got it but advising on relationships is not our remit. We can try to explain how the one with the disease can be both physically and emotionally affected but how they deal with it is individual as is the response of those around them. Arthritis spreads its ripples like a pebble chucked in a pool - its persistence and unpredictability makes it very hard to live with for all concerned. DD (a forum member)
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
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