Rheumatoid arthritis at 24

Hi, I was diagnosed with RA at the beginning of the year and am finding it hard to process. I have a fear of medication which has caused me to suffer from GAD disorder. I’m having a problem with my elbow at the moment it’s been bent for weeks now and that plus fear of other problems is making me ill :( I have tried methotrexate and hydroxychlorquine but have stopped taking them because of how dizzy I feel I’m not sure if it’s just my anxiety because I also have bad brain fog and fatigue. Does anyone have any advice for treatment?I feel like I won’t ever feel myself again.


  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 1,607

    Hi @Becca22

    Welcome to the Online Community.

    I see you were recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and are struggling to process it all. Your fear of medication really can't be helping as it is really essential to control the disease.

    You now have Generalised Anxiety Disorder over this. I am attaching a link about GAD not so much for yourself as I imagine you know what it is, but for people reading your post:

    Absolutely Anxiety is something a lot of us have in addition to our Arthritis and some people have specific fear of needles too, but your anxiety seems to encompass most aspects of the treatment you need.

    I hope you have been offered treatment for this so that you can cope with the medication you so need for your Rheumatoid Arthritis. In the meantime maybe you can try some self-help steps such as heat and or ice packs and gentle stretching exercises for your elbow.

    I'll leave you now to meet our members.

    Best wishes


  • Rina
    Rina Member Posts: 85

    Hello @Becca22

    i just want to welcome you to the forum and give you a gentle virtual hug. I was diagnosed with RA at age 19 ( quite a few years ago now) and I know how you must be feeling. It’s a lot to take in and the meds are quite powerful so they can have side effects that can be wearing but honestly, you will come through this. Since being diagnosed, I have lived a full and rewarding life - university, career, marriage, children, travel - there hasn’t been a thing I haven’t been able to do, maybe a bit differently than I’d imagined but nevertheless it’s all been good. It can take a while to settle into your meds - I’m currently on hydroxychloroquine and I’m now fine with it but I had to try out quite a few different types over the years. I’m sure you’ll find one that suits you and you will feel more settled.

    Keep on posting and looking on this forum - everyone is so supportive and friendly and we know some of what you must be going through so you know you’ll get a sympathetic ear if you want to chat.

    Rina 🤗

  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,393

    Hi @Becca22 a and welcome to posting,

    I was diagnosed with RA when I was 27 so I know how you're feeling because my memory is still okay! I used to want to tell people that this isn't the real me but she will be back very soon! I'm now 63 and I've discovered the real me has never gone she's just changed her plans a little.

    My right elbow was the first joint to stop working and becuase I didnt realise at the time it still doesnt work. It might be wise for you to see your rheumatologist/GP and tell them to see if they could give you a steroid injection into the joint to calm the inflammation and pain down. (I don't know if they've tried this for you already.) It sounds far worse than it actually is and really worth it in the long run.

    Your body should settle down overtime and even though you don't like taking the medication it does make your daily living more easy if you can face the mental hurdle with your GAD issues.

    Wishing you all the best.

    Love, Legs x
    'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'
  • Becca22
    Becca22 Member Posts: 10

    Hi I am just waiting for my rheumatology nurse to contact me to discuss other medications. Im hoping I find something that works for me soon, thank you for replying :)

  • MrDJ
    MrDJ Member Posts: 276

    Hi Becca.

    soz to hear of your struggles and i can honestly say i know what you are going through.

    dont panic reading this as treatments have advanced leaps and bounds since i was diagnosed back in 1985 when i was 21.

    fit as a fiddle up until one day i got out of bed and my ankle ached and slowly got worse. being told the news that i would be in a wheelchair within 6 months by a consultant is like hitting a wall at 100 miles an hour. prime of life and then this hits you.

    you have to fight it. back then there was only steroids that would help. now there are so many combinations of meds and infusions that will help. im now 58 and still working and driving and walking unaided even though i do have a limp. yes ive had many operations and cant do a lot i used to do but when they do find the correct medication for you it will hopefully settle things down and help.

    im on 20mg of methotrexate and have never had any adverse effects from it. when you was taking yours was it before or after food as i found after much better on my stomach. where you also given folic acid.

    everything crossed for you and keep us posted on how it goes at your appointment.

  • Becca22
    Becca22 Member Posts: 10

    Hi I took methotrexate with food at around 7pm I was okay for 2 weeks then I just started feeling weird dizziness, nausea and extreme tiredness which scared me so much. I think the symptoms I’m having are from anxiety but they’re so extreme I always wonder if they aren’t. I’m still awaiting a nurses appointment but I’m hoping it will be soon. Thank you for sharing your story, it has been months since I’ve felt like myself I’ve had 4 doctors appointments and they say it’s just anxiety and RA but it’s just all the time. I’m hoping to feel better soon :) thank you for your reply much appreciated.

  • MrDJ
    MrDJ Member Posts: 276

    at the start i did get a bit of nausea for around a month or so but it did get easier. i also take DF118 dehydrocodein painkillers which do relax me and help me sleep better at night.

    i bet its quite scary having all those symptoms all at once. im guessing all the stress from lockdown hasnt helped much either.

    hopefully they will find something that suits you without all these extra side affects.