RA And Social Media: Finding #Rheum Mates

by Lene Andersen, Community Leader for MyRACentral.

“Social media is changing the experience of living with RA and other types of autoimmune diseases. In the past, we went through it alone, each finding our own way to go through life with a chronic illness. Now the Internet has enabled us to find resources with the click of a mouse button, making it easier to be informed, empowered and in control of our medical care. And just as important, social media has created an online community of people who support and encourage each other. RA Guy sums it up like this: “[we] establish and maintain connections which are beneficial to everyone involved. Social media is not about what I’m doing…it’s about what we are doing!”

Read More: http://www.healthcentral.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/c/80106/146992/ra

3 Comments
3 comments
  1. Joseph says:

    Without social media and the internet in general, I think I’d have probably gone mad by now. It’s a powerful tool that I’ve relied on many times. In my teens dealing with RA was slowly destroying my mind, having suffered some severe dark spells mentally but the moment I logged online and started to realize that there were others like me out there was the day I simply felt more… stable I guess. Like I realized that it wasn’t me just going mad and some of my problems were the same for others.

    My aunt as RA, but I’ve never felt comfortable talking to her about RA (and don’t see her often) so I felt very alone with it. I never talk about it with family to often (that’s my choice, my family is great but they just wouldn’t really understand) so talking with others on Twitter as helped me handle things in a more suitable way. I still don’t handle living with RA well, but at least mentally I’m in a better place.

    I don’t ever want to remember what it was like before venturing on the web and meeting others who knew exactly what it’s like to live with RA.

  2. Kiwi05 says:

    Absolutely the community aspect of Social Media and RA is incredibly encouraging and something I certainly would not like to live without. The ‘oh that happens to you too!’ moments are priceless – as is clearly shown in the “You Know You Have RA When…” blog on this this very website.

    However the most surprising aspect of Social Media and RA has to be the ability to access information that as a patient, we would perhaps not even know of it’s existance. Recently the ACR2011 was held in Chicago and simply knowing that 16,000 people involved in the rheumatology field were there receiving the latest information (including a number of Rheumatologist from our fair land of New Zealand) is incredibly uplifting and gives hope for the future of RA. Without Social Media (in this case Twitter) it would not have been possible to receive this information or hope.

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