CreakyJoints knows what it’s like to live with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We also know what it’s like to have to face the public’s misunderstanding (and often ignorance) about what we live with every day of our lives.
We asked our 23,000+ Facebook friends about their experiences, specifically the myths they confront throughout their journey. Here are some of our favorite responses, which provide insight into some of the hurdles in public perception about RA that people living with the disease face.
Anne S.: The TV commercials that make it look like you are cured and can do anything if you take their RA medication or vitamin. I know it’s not true, but family and friends see these commercials and don’t understand why I’m not jumping around.
Deserae C.: The myth that somehow because I have a disabling illness, I am no longer a sexy and sexual human being.
Margie B.: The commercials really are a problem. People think you’re just fine if you take the medicine because that’s what the drug companies display. Also, simple things like, “just lose weight,” “take a vitamin,” “try this herb (it cured my aunt).”
Karen H.: That any drug will immediately make you feel like you have no disease.
Holly B.: “Twenty-seven is too young to be ill” (even though most autoimmune problems start when people are in their teens and early twenties).
Karen M.: I wish people understood that RA causes debilitating fatigue. People associate RA with pain, which it definitely causes, but don’t understand why we are tired all of the time.
Arianna Z.: “Oh, yeah, that’s what old people get.” “It’s ‘just’ arthritis.” “Can’t you just take a pill and it’ll go away?” “Have you tried a gluten-free, dairy-free diet? It’ll cure you!” “You’re too young to have arthritis.” “But you don’t look sick!” “You should exercise more.” “Maybe you’re just depressed.” “But my grandma/aunt/random-person-I-know has arthritis and she’s fine!” “Oh yeah, sometimes my big toe hurts too.” “You’re just being dramatic.” “You’re still sick?” “Stop pretending to be sick; we know you just want attention.” “It’s all in your head.”
CreakyJoints is dedicated to educating the public about arthritis and how to take care of one another. Be sure to join the most popular arthritis community in the world by going to CreakyJoints.org and sharing your experiences living with arthritis—and the myths you face.