Facing the challenges of living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can be emotional, stressful, and frustrating. For many people, they may feel helpless, isolated, and experience mood swings and loss of appetite. Depression and sleep disruptions are common among people with arthritis.

You can learn to cope with these emotions. Recognizing how RA affects your emotional health is one of the first steps you can take towards managing your feelings and living the life you want.

Think positively about how to cope with your emotions and consider doing the following:

  • Accept the fact that you have RA. Then you can start learning how to cope with RA and live with it so that it doesn't control your life.
  • Educate yourself about RA so that you have a better sense of control over your condition.
  • Find ways to continue to do the activities you enjoy.
  • Talk to your family and friends. Don't keep them in the dark about how you are feeling.
  • Learn effective ways to deal with stress. For example, exercise and meditation can help reduce stress.
  • Counselling and support groups can help you keep a positive outlook and learn from others how to best cope with the condition. Find a support group in your area by clicking on "Support Groups" in the resource centre on this site.