Does your partner cope with the ups and downs of your arthritis by keeping his or her frustrations and fears on lockdown? Does he or she try to micromanage problems away? Understanding your partner’s coping style can make you both happier and healthier.
Understanding what’s behind your partner’s behavior can be an important step toward a stronger relationship, says Nancy Ruddy, PhD, a clinical psychologist at McCann Health in Mountain Lakes, N.J.
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Support groups have been beneficial to many people living with chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Studies show arthritis support groups can improve mood, provide better coping skills, decrease pain and provide relief from negative emotions, such as fear, resentment and hopelessness, according to Vicki Helgeson, PhD, of Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, who has studied the impact of support groups for more than a decade.
However, support groups sometimes get a bad rap because some can become a ceaseless cycle of negativity in which members continuously vent, but do not learn to cope and accept their illness.
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