A significant time in my life was when I was studying towards a Diploma in Photography. I was in my early twenties, and at that time, I didn’t talk about having Rheumatoid Arthritis freely. I don’t really know why but I think I just didn’t know how to talk about it.

In one of my classes, I had a documentary project and I decided to focus on myself (self-portraiture) – there is no better subject matter than yourself, right? I explored the idea of art therapy. This is where people use art to creatively express themselves with the purpose of improving their wellbeing or overcoming personal issues. It is much like how some people use Instagram – to share their struggles of their illnesses. I created a series of photograms that explored my feelings in relation to my arthritis. Here are a few…

They’re not much to the outside eye. Art therapy is not for others but for yourself. These photograms ended up having a very significant effect on me. I didn’t realise how having RA was affecting me until I saw these. And I didn’t notice it at the time, but not long after this project I started asking for help and telling people that I was in pain. From that point, life got a little bit easier.

I guess the point I’m trying to make here is that this project was my first step towards an easier life. I am a creative person and this just happened to be the thing that helped me to accept that I have RA and that having RA is my normal, even if that wasn’t my aim.

If you are in the position that I was, I would encourage you to find your own way to start dealing with your feelings. It’s important to acknowledge and explore those feelings and how your disease impacts on your life so that you can accept it and start to make positive choices and changes.

Arthritis New Zealand

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What are your tips for maintaining a healthy weight? ...

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For further information go to the following link:

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The NZ Geographic Photographer of the Year exhibition features a finalist, Nathan Secker, whose photo depicts his aunt who suffers from gout...

"Ida Ward has lived in this house since she was married, more than 70 years ago. Now 96, Ward suffers from gout in her hands, which she covers with gloves. Nathan Secker, her nephew, felt compelled to document her and her home on a recent visit. “I didn’t ask her to move or pose for the photograph. This was Ida’s world.”

View this photo and the other finalists here: www.nzgeo.com/photography/photographer-of-the-year-2020-finalists/

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6 days ago

Arthritis New Zealand

Arthritis Educator Cathie shares some tips about food that may help, food that probably isn't helping.

It's very important to know that there is no one solution for all people with arthritis - each person has got to find what works for them.

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This is an important consultation for treatments for JIA. Arthritis NZ will make a submission.

#JIA #juvenileidiopathicarthritis #childrenwitharthritis

How to implement dietary change for #osteoarthritis? Listen to this week’s episode with Rosie Venman on how to lose weight and keep it off, dietary strategies and much more! https://www.jointaction.info/podcast/episode/8b100ea7/implementing-dietary-change @NthSydHealth @KollingInst @ArthritisNZ @SydMSK

What is the difference between early #osteoarthritis and established #osteoarthritis. Check out my interview with Prof Stefan Lohmander from this week’s @jointactionorg #podcast https://www.jointaction.info/podcast/episode/8e78cf38/what-is-early-osteoarthritis @ArthritisAust @OARSInews

Arthritis New Zealand now invites applications from people or organisations involved in arthritis-related research for grants from the following funds for the period 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021.

Read more at the following link:

Research Results out: Evaluation of Gout Stop and Owning My Gout Management Programmes
Report by Synergia for Arthritis New Zealand and its partners PHARMAC and the Health Quality and Safety Commission. Download here: https://www.arthritis.org.nz/

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