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How serious is RA really? Does it cause mental issues like depression also?

My partner f29 has been diagnosed with RA. I want to know what might be her condition 10years and 20years from now.

  1. Hi! I have had RA for over three decades now and I started at age nine, so I know pretty much some of the things in store. First, let me say, you should be commended for coming here and trying to be proactive about your partner's new challenges. You'd be shocked at how many people just don't care or check out - I have had a spouse leave me because they just didn't want to deal with it any more, so, really, it's extremely kind and caring of you! RAS is a very unpredictable disease and that's the really hard part - you never know what the day or even what the hour is going to bring, and that can really put a stress on relationships. Someone could be fine in the morning or the night before, and then the plans a few hours later happen and they just can't do it. It takes a toll, mentally for sure. What I will say is that it isn't all bad news - most people eventually find a routine and procedures that work for them to help lessen the chances of stuff like that happening. Whether it's sleeping more, or not doing much a few days before an event, or taking more medicine to prepare - whatever the solution, people with RA usually find ways to deal. The downside of that is it takes time, sometimes a long time, especially right after diagnosis. It is an overwhelming time, and there are going to be some trials, I won't sugar coat it, but just know you and your partner both are not alone. You can always come here to be with people who get it, to ask questions, to vent, or just to know you aren't the only ones going through it. RA is such a unique and individual disease that it's difficult to say what the future might look like, but if they keep up with their doctors and medical routines, there's a definite possibility that the future could look somewhat "normal," so don't get too discouraged. Just take it day by day, at least for now, and know that with RA things ALWAYS change - that's a constant, so if it looks bleak now it will always look different after a while. Better? Maybe not, exactly, but different, and sometimes that's enough. Let us know if there's anything else we can do to help. Keep on keepin' on, DPM

    1. Wow what a great reply DPM - I agree - Your partner is very lucky to have someone care enough to come here and ask. It can be extremely difficult to live with this disease, having a partner who is willing to learn along with you makes everything a little easier.
      I have a partner who is so patient and has learned a lot with me. When you see your partner is in pain ask if you can help. Things have gotten a bit easier through the years as far as medication Goes, but while the meds help a lot, there is no cure.
      Thank you for being secure enough to know where to ask. I was on another site before coming to - I miss out on a lot of great info. This is the most comforting site with the most information! You have come to the right place! Best of luck and come by any time!

    2. Thanks so much! Please let us know when you see the specialist what they say! Hopefully we can help to answer any other non-medical questions you may have and always remember - you are not alone! Keep on keepin' on, DPM

  2. Hi . First, let me say that as the spouse of someone with RA (my wife, Kelly Mack, is a contributor here), it is always great to hear about partners looking to find out more information/get educated about RA. Kelly was diagnosed at age two, almost 45 years ago - before modern treatments with the damage to show for it(very similar JRA case to Daniel). That said, Kelly got a graduate degree, has a great career, loves to travel and spend time with family and friends, and gets me to do things I probably wouldn't otherwise. A full and happy life is absolutely possible.
    On top of all that, I want to come back to what I said about her being diagnosed before modern treatments. On more than one occasion we have had the conversation with her rheumatologist about the hope that kids diagnosed today will not have the same level of damage (same applies to adults). Just a few years ago Kelly started new treatment that brought her inflammation numbers into the normal range for the first time. There are definitely now some tools in the tool box. I don't want to over sugar-coat it. There will be challenges and finding a treatment isn't always easy, but as Daniel noted, those with RA tend to find a way. Please feel free to keep us posted on how things are going and to ask questions. Best, Richard ( Team)

    1. Thank you for your brain fog clarity. It is so helpful for my mental state, I actually took a huge breath of relief!

      1. oh I'm so glad Richards explanation about brain fog was so helpful! It certainly can be disconcerting and concerning to be experiencing such frustrating and challenging brain fog, so it's wonderful this could help bring you some relief about the topic. -- Warmly, Christine (Team Member)

    2. Hi…I was diagnosed in 1992. It has been a long road with RA as my back seat driver. I am not going to repeat what already has been said but with patience, perseverence and a good team of doctors, living a fulfilling life is possible. Doing things that make one happy is a key ingredient in managing all of this.

      1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and perspective. I wholeheartedly agree with this. Hope you're doing well! -Effie, team member

      2. "Doing things that make one happy is a key ingredient in managing all of this." Perfectly said and a great mantra to live by! Hope you're doing well currently and thanks for sharing! Kindly, Latoya (Team Member)

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