Managing the fears that can come along with taking medications may be difficult. Some fears may be related to new or old side effects. Understanding side effects is difficult when drug information sheets are pages-long. Other worries include whether the medication will work, will it interact with other medications, and is it affordable. In a large study of rheumatoid arthritis patients, almost 70% of patients were on 5 or more drugs. This is similar to lupus and scleroderma. It can be stressful organizing and taking multiple medications daily. Oral pills can also be stressful if swallowing is difficult. Injections can be hard if there is pain and swelling in the hands. With that said, it can be difficult to keep negative thoughts and emotions at bay, especially when taking powerful medications.
We have found that routinely practicing mindfulness can be a useful tool for training the mind to stay in the present moment. This will help keep negativity and worries from getting carried away. It can be hard to untangle past experiences with medications and doctors from the present moment. Practicing mindfulness will help keep your mind open to new experience, free from judgement and filled with self-compassion. We encourage you to use the following exercises to help with overwhelming feelings.