There are plenty of misconceptions about autoimmune arthritis. We’ve all encountered them. For instance:
- Only old people get arthritis. Wrong! I was 20 when I first experienced symptoms, and 21 when I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis (for the first time…).
- All arthritis is the same. Wrong again. Osteoarthritis (the kind everyone thinks of when they hear “arthritis”) is very different from autoimmune arthritis. Within the category of autoimmune arthritis, there are many different kinds, too.
- Arthritis is curable. I wish. There’s currently no cure for any kind of arthritis. Kind of sad, right?
- You’re life is totally over now; all you can do is sit at home when you have arthritis. Not really. Sure, there are days when I feel bad and have to limit my activities, but I still work, I still have hobbies, I still volunteer. I have a very full life despite my arthritis.
- Every day is the same for people with arthritis. Dead wrong. I may literally feel great one day and terrible the next. I might have a string of awesome days followed by a few terrible ones. I may have weeks or months or years dominated by bad days. The truth is I often don’t know how I’m going to feel on any given day—hell, sometimes on any given part of a day—until I get there.
What did I miss? What are some of your favourite (for lack of a better word) arthritis misconceptions?
And don’t even get me started on psoriasis misconceptions!
- Psoriasis is contagious. Wrong-o! It’s an autoimmune disease.
- Psoriasis is caused by bad hygiene. Wrong again. Still an autoimmune disease. Showering doesn’t make it go away.
- Psoriasis is just a skin disease. It’s no biggie. Super wrong. Again, autoimmune disease. It’s also painful, itchy and embarrassing (mostly because of all the misconceptions!). It also puts us at risk for other diseases, including metabolic syndrome.
- There’s a cure for psoriasis. Nope. I wish there was, though.