Health Stories and Interviews

Stigma of Arthritis in young people

I came across this really interesting article in The Metro regarding the stigma associated with Arthritis in young people and what it’s like to live with an invisible disease.

https://metro.co.uk/2019/11/09/from-stigma-to-addressing-invisible-illnesses-young-people-share-what-its-like-living-with-arthritis-11040563/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

Having been diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis when I was 11 and told ‘you’ll probably grow out of it by the time you’re 16-18’ (only to go on and get AS at 14 and Psoriatic Arthritis in my 20’s) I could really relate to the stories the three ladies shared in the article. Back in the 90s progress was being made and biologics were talked about as this mythical thing 25-50 years down the line but the talks and support that were given to me and my parents were very much about preparing and adapting to living with what’s to come rather than how to fight it. I’m pleased to say I’m quite determined and continue to push the boundaries….especially if someone tells me I can’t do something! 😉

I recommend giving it a read and thank you to The Metro for raising awareness.

If you have a similar story you’d like to share on this site, then please get in touch. Joel.

2 Comments

  1. Good morning Joel,

    I have just came across this post and the linked article. It is very interesting and has inspired me to have my say on this stigma. Too often are articles, advertisements, leaflets etc. aimed toward either the very young or very elderly. It seems that we are the forgotten middle ground, those who arguably suffer the most.

    Great read.
    Shannon

    • Thanks Shannon – yes, although I’m in my mid-thirties now, I still feel like services and support doesn’t fit my age range. When I was a kid there was nothing and I was sent to groups such as hydrotherapy with people six times my age which was all very uncomfortable (not to mention that when 15, you don’t really want to see what you could be like in 50 years time with the disease!) but that has moved forward thankfully, still very little for those of us in our 20s and 30s to engage with however and hopefully with the help of charities such as VersusArthritis and NASS we can change that slowly.

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About the author

Joel Nelson

Joel Nelson

Joel has lived with numerous forms of arthritis most of his life, with the onset when he was just 11 years old. In 2019, Joel created his blog, JoelvsArthritis to share his experiences, raise awareness and to be an advocate for those with arthritis and other autoimmune conditions. In his short writing career, Joel has written for a number of leading autoimmune and disability charities and is a community advocate and writer for Psoriatic-Arthritis.com. Read his arthritis story here: https://joelvsarthritis.co.uk/my-story

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