Anger may be apparent at home, workplace or even in the doctors office. In the latter situation, the patient may be confrontational to the doctor on a routine basis. Anger, if it exists, is very important to address.
Fear is very prevalent among newly diagnosed patients with arthritis. They do not know what to expect and do not know how the arthritis will change their life. Reassurance and education can often mitigate fear. Some patients may feel responsible for their arthritis because of some past action, although the cause of these conditions are unknown.
While these emotions may be a normal response to illness early, additional evaluation should be considered if they persist.
- Talk to your doctor about how you feel!!
- If possible, ask a family member to come to your appointment. his is especially helpful if you feel that your family does not understand or accept your limitations.
Your physician can help with this communication and direct you and your family to resources to help deal with these issues including support groups, literature and referral to other health professionals.
Dr. Zashin is clinical assistant professor at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and an attending physician at Presbyterian Hospitals of Dallas and Plano. Dr. Zashin is author of Arthritis Without Pain - The Miracle Of TNF Blockers. The book is useful for anyone on one of the biologic drugs or considering the biologic drugs.