New to VA

Doreen Member Posts: 2
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:07 in Living with arthritis

Hi, my name is Doreen almost 70yrs old and RA sufferer for many years. Recently re started methotrexate but as I now struggle with anxiety I decided not to take them as I blamed the drug for making anxiety worse. I have always worked but am now retired and find it difficult to stay positive. My husband tries to be supportive and I have lovely children and grand children so know I am lucky but wish I could get rid of negative thinking


  • Shell_H
    Shell_H Member Posts: 548

    Hi @Doreen - welcome to the online community!

    I see you've had Rheumatoid Arthritis for a while, and you've recently started taking Methotrexate again, but then decided to stop taking it as you feel it is making your anxiety worse. You're also finding it hard to stay positive, and struggle with negative thinking.

    I'm putting my responsible hat on for a moment and saying I really suggest you talk to your GP about not taking Methotrexate. If you feel it is making your anxiety worse there are many other drugs for RA you can be given instead to try which may be a better fit for you, but just stopping taking your perscription probably wont help. If you work with your doctor - and if they don't listen to you're worries and anxiety you can always ask to see another doctor who does - then you should end up feeling better overall. It's always better to have support, and RA will not go away, so having the right medication for it can make a huge difference for you.

    As someone who also suffers from depression and anxiety, I'd also suggest talking to your doctor about this. You can get a referral to the mental health team, who can be really helpful and offer you counselling or therapy to help deal with it. You can also get anti-anxiety drugs which can make a massive difference to people's lives. Definitely worth trying if it's causing you lots of distress.

    Being retired can leave you wondering what to do with yourself now, and that can also not help with positive thoughts. So I'd find a hobby, or volunteer at something, or get involved in your local community - something that you will find enjoyable and worthwhile to do which will give you purpose. Whether it's taking up painting, learning something new, going back to university or college, or volunteering with a charity - local or national - find something which you care about and want to do. Don't let a lack of external work make you feel like you have no purpose, find your own desire to do and see where that takes you. Nothing you do will be pointless, whether it's having the most beautiful garden you can or starting a book you never let anyone read, it's not worthless as it means something to you.

    We do have some information which may be helpful as well. Have a look at the section on Treatment in the Rheumatoid Arthritis page to see the very many options you could try there, don't just give up because one thing didn't work for you:

    We also have a booklet specifically on emotional wellbeing and arthritis. I hope it helps:

    Have a look around the rest of the community and see if there's anything else of interest to you. I'm sure there's a lot that would be relevant.

    Lovely to meet you!