Books can be the perfect source of escape; whether Narnia, Hogwarts or Middle Earth is your destination of choice, when your day feels bleak, sometimes the best thing to do is get lost among the pages. But books aren't only for shutting off the world – there are countless publications dedicated to helping people who live with chronic disease. From the hard core science, to memoir based diaries and holistic advice, we've collated our top five picks for people living with PsA.
Dr Dafna Gladman is one of the world's leading experts in Psoriatic Arthritis (you may have caught her last year in our Facebook Live from ACR 2016!), and her book focusses on providing information on the condition written especially for people with PsA. The chapters clearly detail specific symptoms (ranging from nail trauma to chronic joint pain) in a way which gives the low-down on the science without feeling like you're trying to follow Einstein's stream of conscious. A must-have if you, a friend or family member are living with the condition.
If you're living with PsA, then the title of this book probably sounds familiar. You Don't Look Sick chronicles one person's true-life story of chronic illness and her journey through the four stages of chronic illness: Getting Sick, Being Sick, Grief and Acceptance, and Living Well. This isn't just a memoir; it covers practical advice such as finding a doctor, managing chronic pain and countering the social bias against the chronically ill. It's a warm-hearted read which serves as a daily reminder that life with PsA can be happy and fulfilled.
Did you know that mindfulness could potentially have an effect on the anxiety, depression, irritability, exhaustion and insomnia that can arise from chronic pain and illness? Mindfulness for Health sets out an eight week meditation programme which takes just 10-20 minutes per day, which the author of this guide created to help her cope with the severe pain of a spinal injury. An easy-to-follow and down-to- earth approach which may just leave you feeling calmed, refreshed and renewed.
With mind and soul looked after through meditation, diet could also be a route to helping reduce PsA symptoms. The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook is the brain child of Nutritional Therapy Practitioner Mickey Trescott, who herself lives with two autoimmune diseases. The book is packed full of delicious and simple recipes especially designed to help people living with autoimmune diseases to calm and soothe their symptoms.
We know that living with PsA can be tough, and on particularly bad flare days it can be difficult to find a source of positivity. A daily reminder to always search for the brighter side of life.
What are your favourite books, and do you have any you'd recommend to fellow spoonies?