Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

The reality of living with arthritis as a young person

Debbie Griffin, 32, has lived with arthritis since she was a child.

It's a condition that can make daily life difficult and painful - and leave her feeling isolated.

"The pain is horrific some days, to the fact that I find I can't go out the house", Debbie, from St Asaph, told ITV Wales.

"It affects me everyday, you know everyone's different and you can only account for yourself, but the pain is horrific some days".

Christmas brings its own challenges for Debbie, with the desire to to join in the celebrations balanced against the physical demands that might involve.

"I'll say 'yes I'll come out with you", but sometimes not knowing how much walking is involved.

"That is always on the back of your mind, worrying to say 'can I do that?'. And that can cause quite a lot of anxiety in itself."

Despite often being associated with older people, in the UK around 15,000 children and young people are affected by arthritis.

And a new study from the charity Versus Arthritis found the majority of 16-34-year olds with the condition report feeling lonely on a regular basis.

Debbie says she believes talking more openly about arthritis in young people is key.

"I think because it's known as an older people's condition, you know I am quite open in telling people I have arthritis but people don't understand the limitations that young people have.

"I find that just asking 'how are you?' can sometimes break down that barrier and people can be more open in talking about their condition".

Sorry, this content isn't available on your device.