Friends & Family
As a teen living with spondylitis, you may find that having a chronic illness will affect you emotionally, or it may impact relationships with your family and friends.
Once you are told you have a form of spondylitis, you may be relieved to get a name for all of the symptoms you have experienced, but you may also feel scared, angry, sad, frustrated or generally unsure about the future. These feelings are completely normal as you begin to learn about spondylitis and how to adjust to it. With time you may discover that, while the residual pain and discomfort are annoying, the pain does come and go, and you can learn to deal with it and look more positively to the future.
We also want to encourage you to bring positive support into your life, whether it be family, friends, teachers or counselors, because we know from experience that the more support you bring into your life, the easier it will be to cope with your disease. Because it is sometimes hard for those who do not have spondylitis to relate to you, encourage them to learn about it. You can refer them to this website or to our parent site at www.stopas.org.
In the following sections, Relationships and Stay Positive!, we asked teens Tyler, Brian, Katlin and Christine about how living with spondylitis has affected their relationships with friends and family and how they maintain a positive outlook.