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Carol Eustice

Do You Hate Your Hands? - Advice for Arthritis Patients

By December 14, 2007

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Joint deformity, especially of the hands, can be embarassing and disturbing. Arthritis patients with hand deformities can feel "lesser than" and shy away from social situations.

  • Have you ever gone out of your way to avoid a handshake?
  • How often do you find your hands tucked away in your pockets, or held behind your back?
  • Can you really hide from physical deformity and how it makes you feel about yourself?

One arthrtis forum user wrote, "I have had rheumatoid arthritis (RA) for 5 years and been on methotrexate all that time supposedly to prevent any deformities. Well, it's obvious in my hands now, especially my right one. I have pain all over at times. I can deal with that but I really get put out when I see a reflection of my hand. To many, it may look like not much to sook about at all but to me its very real. I am in my late 40s, single, and do not socialize that much as I find it embarassing. I know I must sound selfish, but anyway I still hate my hands."

It's hard to tell another person that they shouldn't feel that way -- because ultimately they do feel that way. They are embarassed and would prefer to be invisible. Acceptance of every facet of living with arthritis is what will cure the anxiety that comes from having unsightly, crooked fingers. I have lived with crooked fingers (contractures) for decades. My advice -- embrace and accept the things about yourself that aren't "normal". Don't fight who you are physically and emotionally. Learn how to graciously be yourself!

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Comments
September 30, 2010 at 9:49 am
(1) Elizabeth says:

I have had rheumatoid athritis since i was 17 and am now 35 and single. I dont socialize much as i dont like people staring at me and wondering what happened to my hands. I dont feel self consious with my family and friends as they don’t treat me any different but strangers they always make me remember my hands are deformed and u hate it and makes me feel depressed

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