When a person is diagnosed with a chronic disease such as rheumatoid arthritis , the psoriatic arthritis or juvenile idiopathic arthritis, among others, it is forced to make major changes in your lifestyle that may be accompanied by stress, sadness, anxiety and even depression .
The negative psychological impact it has on the patient can reach all areas of your life and affect the relationships they have with the people around them , especially with the couple . In fact, as Marta Redondo, professor in the Department of Psychology at the University Camilo Jose Cela in Madrid points out, it can be a deal breaker.
The effects of this disease, as well as affecting the relationship, due to changes in mood, also have a negative impact on the sexual life of the couple , since, as specified Leticia Leon, researcher at the Institute of Health Research hospital Clinico San Carlos in Madrid, more than half of patients with rheumatic diseases have some kind of difficulty sex.
The main problems are the characteristic of these diseases: pain, stiffness, fatigue, limited movement, reduced lubrication or impotence. However, these will also be added the influence of psychological conditions, among which have low self-esteem and negative body image, feelings of guilt, frustration or tension with the couple.
Redondo indicates that there is evidence that emotional support is beneficial to control the disease , while criticism of the couple hinder adaptation and increase pain and disability of the patient. A sexual level , the experts stress the importance of boosting trust with the loved one, explain how you feel, what bothers and / or pain in the sexual arena and seek together greater flexibility and adaptation.
Enjoy a couple
From ConArtritis give some tips to learn to live with the disease as a couple:
Communication is key in any couple, especially if any of you is ill. We must try to share positive and negative feelings : pain, fears, dreams, love, etc.
The patient does not have the guilt of having arthritis. The couple wants him understand the disease and not recriminate if one day you want to postpone a plan.
Not rule out sex
You have to adapt to new circumstances and find a comfortable and pleasant place for both . If the usual posture is painful you can look for new alternatives.
Do not pay irritability with the couple
Everyone has a bad day and usually paid to the person next to him. Although they understand the situation we must try to make an effort and avoid downloading our anger with the couple.
Caring love every day
Our loved ones will always be there when we need them without asking anything in return. However, it never hurts to occasionally say “thanks for being there” , give a hug, a kiss or have a small detail. That will help strengthen the relationship and will be beneficial for both parties.
It helps to understand
Explain the disease is difficult, especially if there are no physical symptoms. This causes patients often feel that their families do not understand them, make them frustrated and even loneliness. If this occurs it is essential to keep trying and go to any patient association which can help manage the situation.
Ask for help
If you believe that the disease is affecting your relationship, you are not able to convey what happens to you or to contain the anger toward your loved ones for help. A psychologist will teach you to control irritability , pain and communicate better.
Many patients seek refuge only in the couple and are afraid to talk to others about what happens to them for fear of being rejected. Relying on friends and coworkers easier to see the disease from another perspective.
If you can not do a job, find another
When a person is diagnosed often have to change your lifestyle and change the family role. However, you can not do a task, does not mean that no longer fits-all: we must adjust the functions to suit the new situation.
Contact an association of patients
Sharing experiences, fears and doubts helps improve and control the disease, and to assume a positive and active attitude.