21 year just diagnosed with arthritis & struggling to see the positives


hello everyone

i need to desperately learn how to positively handle the fact that i have this degenerative disease at such a young age - because this reality terrifies me

My arthritis effects my lower back & I have slipped disc

i am unable to do many things i used to do - i cant hoover, i cant pick up my dog, i cant work at my old job any longer

i feel completely and utterly useless & still have not quite come to terms that this is my life now - im scared it is just going to get worse and worse as the years progress - does anyone have any positive stories? positive mindsets? i am not looking for advice i.e exercises, chiropractors etc i just want to know that itll be okay

thank you


  • Chris_R
    Chris_R Moderator Posts: 800
    edited 1. Aug 2020, 08:45

    Hi Lildanemann

    Welcome to the forum,glad you have found us.You say you have just been diagnosed with Arthritis.

    It is scary when you are diagnosed with Arthritis when you are older, so as a young person it must feel devastating,as you say Life has changed for you your GP should help with your fears and your Rhumatologist,should talk to you about your diagnosis,Have you been referred to anyone? You don't say what type of Arthritis you have,It would be good if you tell us what you have.

    The forums are full of people who have gone through and going through still just like you and are trying to come to terms with Arthritis. The most popular Forums are Living with Arthritis, Chit Chat, Vals café

    All the best please tell us how you get on.

    Thought you might like these stories about young people with arthritis


    Need more help? - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • Sharon_K
    Sharon_K Member Posts: 460
    edited 1. Aug 2020, 08:55


    just to let you know that I was diagnosed at 20 but had already had arthriis for about two years by then. I am now 58, married with a grown up daughter and life is good. Yes I have had to adapt but I am still really enjoying life, I wish I had been able to meet people my own age when I was in my twenties. Versus Arthritis does run groups for people your age and you can find out more here

    there is also a great website called Arthurs place aimed at your age gtoup with loads of blogs and information about living young with arthritis

    We also have a fab new app that has been designed by young people in Northern Ireland to help you monitor your arthritis ready for those important meetings with your Rheumatologist

    I hope these help to start you on a positive road, please email our young people's team for more ideas

    Best Wishes


  • Shell_H
    Shell_H Member Posts: 548
    edited 1. Aug 2020, 13:49

    Hi @Lildanemann ,

    ive been diagnosed in my thirties - not as young as you but still quite devastating when you think it will only get worse from here. I’m lucky I’ve been able to watch my mother also go through an arthritis diagnosis. It changed her life completely - she was a primary school teacher and was on her feet all day, which she couldn’t keep up after a while. I’m lucky my job is desk based so it hasn’t affect me too much (although going up and down stairs at work is a bi*ch).

    The positive is even tho it was extremely difficult at the he beginning it genuinely did get better. Once you learn to manage it better, with meds or exercise or meditation or therapy or all of the above, it becomes doable. You may never do the same as before, but there is still loads you can do. My mother now has a job she’s enjoys, still helps and plays with the grandkids, goes for walks, and has the most amazing garden. Her life isn’t easy, but it works and she’s happy.

    For me I’ve still managed to cope with my kids despite them being young, I’ve gained a new relationship which is amazing and my partner doesn’t care about the arthritis. I can still do some exercise - although I doubt I’ll ever be into running or bouncing any more - and my life can be as active as I choose so long as I take the arthritis into account. It just changes what you do, it doesn’t stop it completely.

    On a lighter note, I’ve found a link to a bunch of famous people with arthritis, a lot of whom had it young and still went on to be awesome. So don’t let it kill your hopes, just adjust them to fit the new you. And don’t be too proud to admit you need help or change or support - whether from people or a walking stick. The better you look after yourself now the easier it will be later!

  • Eir1971
    Eir1971 Member Posts: 20
    Hi Lildanemann
    I'm sorry to hear you've been diagnosed at 21. I was also diagnosed at 21 with RA and PA, I was only poorly for a few weeks before diagnosis, it came from nowhere, suddenly I went from a healthy 21 year old who only wanted to go out partying, to barely being able to get out of bed and being told I would be in a wheelchair by the time I was 50, Im now 49 with no wheelchair in sight. I struggled to accept my diagnosis but once I did, things became easier and I felt I could focus more on fighting it rather than being in denial.
    My life did change, it took a while to become stable, I stopped going out as much, but I still managed to keep working full time and still do. I left home and moved 80 miles away a few years later when I felt well Then the biologic came which changed my life. You havent said what arthritis you suffer from, I hope its one the biologics can help you with. I always had an urge to travel and have been all over the world with my arthritis, I've had some fantastic experiences and met fantastic friends on the way. I cab do most things my friends do apart from huge hikes, excercise classes etc. I have a good job and own my own home.
    I won't lie, there will be bad patches along the way, but you will learn to deal with them and you will adapt to your changing life.
    I would also suggest finding a supportive gp, if you don't already have one, they can make things so much easier for you.
    I hope I may given you a bit of hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and that you can still have a successful life.
    Take care and good luck.
  • Airwave!
    Airwave! Member Posts: 2,466

    Well let’s start with the first positive, no more hoovering! Much overrated pastime. I have had arther since I was young and like you diagnosed young, I have led a full life with a growing family, a huge positive that one! I haven’t had to work for many years but spend my life pleasing myself, looking after my grandchildren and pursuing hobbies and at times a rather Good life that many on this planet just wouldn’t have the time to do. Gosh, the positives are building here aren’t they?

    Yes I’m in pain, can’t run around or stand for long but there is plenty I can do and it’s those things that take my pain away. How’re we doing now for positives? Ok, one more, I get to park on yellow lines!!!! That always makes me laugh.......

    So there you are, arther has given me plenty and it’s probably your attitude to life that defines what I set out here as a negative or a positive thing? Your choice.

    it’s a grin, honest!