Being diagnosed with arthritis can be a shock for anyone. But it can also be a relief to know the cause of all the pain, stiffness and clicking. As with any diagnosis, it takes time to process everything and move forward. To help you overcome any anxiety and stress you might be feeling, we’ve put together some tips and advice for post-diagnosis blues.
1. Your diagnosis does not define you
Try to remember that your diagnosis will not take over who you are as a person. Making a list of all your other incredible qualities, achievements and roles in your life is a great way to refocus your mind on the positive aspects of yourself. Perhaps you’re a caring mother or father, are a skilled golfer or have a humorous personality that people love most about you. The things you love most about yourself will continue even with arthritis. Don’t let it define you.
2. Understand the facts and focus on the present
One of the most common responses to diagnosis is suddenly panicking and overthinking the future and how your life may differ as a result. We recommend learning and finding out as much as possible about arthritis so that you’re armed with knowledge on what might change in your life. The next step is to concentrate on the present as opposed to dwelling on future uncertainties. Save yourself from imagining the worst-case scenario (especially as it’s unpredictable how arthritis will progress over time for each individual) and instead focus on the now.
3. Stay social
After your diagnosis you might not feel like socialising much but continuing to stay connected with friends and family is the best way to lift your mood. Surround yourself with the people who bring you the most joy and do things to distract your mind from your arthritis.
4. Tell someone how you feel
Most importantly, open up to someone about your feelings. Sometimes it’s all too easy to keep everything to yourself rather than feeling like you’re burdening someone else with your emotions. But the reality is, professionals, online communities and of course those who love you in your life will be more than happy to help you through your diagnosis.
Remember you’re never alone, there are always people who want to listen and help.
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