NRAS
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Arthritis UK adverts have made my blood boil!

The latest 'Arthritis UK' ads, saying 'spot the person with arthritis'... meant to be drawing attention to how common arthritis is... but to me they say "everyone's got a bit of pain... get on with it". Don't normally let things like this bother me.... but RA is really not the same as a bit of an aging joint! If you feel similarly please message Arthritis Uk with your thoughts via their Facebook account or website. I think these adverts are a disaster for public awareness of our condition.

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Really? I see it differently . I see it as not minimising our pain but pointing out that it affects many others by association , if you like? Possibly makes the "invisible" more "visible".

The adverts, at the very least , surely gives pause for thought and to me, that can only be a good thing, surely.

Marie

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Your interpretation is what they intended, so that's god, maybe I just see it differently. I get frustrated if I tell someone I have rheumatoid arthritis and they respond with 'oh yes, I have that in my finger' type comments.

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Good not god!

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Sorry why do u get frustrated if some1 has it in their fingers? (Not the only place I have it, also feet knee hip) it is just as agonizingly painful especially when u got to use your hands every day, I am a cleaner and suffer terribly all the time especially now weather changing so much!

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What I mean is some people self diagnose a bit of bone pain as 'arthritis' and I don't believe this is the same at all as an autoimmune disease which is attacking every organ of your body and leaving you with overwheming fatigue at times. I do have arthritis in my fingers, and I work with ninety 4 and 5 year olds each day, so I do appreciate that pain in fingers can be debilitating. I think you may have misunderstood my point, and I apologise for that.

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Yep sorry I understand now and yes I do also get slightly peeved about self diagnosis as when you have RA you certainly know about it and don't want it lol. Keep up the good work with the kids! ☺

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Thank you, it saddens me that aged 48 I realise I will not be able to do this job for much longer because of this stupid disease!

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I think I get what you mean. I have arthritis in my left jaw, my right toe, both ankles, both knees and my right wrist and elbow and my left middle finger is now being weird. My neck is also very stiff at times .My left wrist is also a little weak but not as weak as my right. Anyway it is fairly extensive and impacts a great deal as you will appreciate. I had this woman ask me where I had my arthritis the other day so I said and she nodded and said she thought she had it in her pinky and showed it to me saying that she was going to have it investigated. I am a psychotherapist so felt she was being passive aggressive. Either that or she was incredibly insensitive. A complete jackass.

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Just stupid, I suspect. There's a lot of it about.

J

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You're right it belittles what we're going through

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Yes I think so too.

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Totally get tgat

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Yes I do understand what the intended message is... I'm just saying that it had a different effect on me.

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The ads I've seen STILL don't seem to differentiate between RA & OA!

I wonder if the people designing the ads are told the difference?

I naively thought NRAS were going to explain the difference & say what is available to help both!

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Hi AgedCrone,

Just to clarify that the advert being talked about isn't an NRAS advert. It is Arthritis Research UK who are currently running the national campaign.

Kind regards

Emma-NRAS

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Hi Emma.....

Whoever puts out advertisements regarding Arthritis of any description should word it responsibly.

Mayn people newly diagnosed with either are confused & upset enough without misleading Blah!

Whenever new adds appeared I used to read them & very rarely did they actually state AT THE BEGINNING OF THE AD, which type of arthritis they were referring to.

In fact these days I hardly ever bother to read them & my Rheumatologist agrees.

AC

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Haha not unlike the Daily Express which almost every week seems to have a headline screaming NEW CURE/TREATMENT FOR ARTHRITIS - which gets my hopes up, only to read that they're talking about osteoarthritis. Grrrr

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If it's the same ad it's not clear whether it's RD they're focussing on or OA. I know ads vary from region to region so as I say not sure it's the same one, I think it's a bloke saying to a woman he's got a job & then he doesn't turn up, a cobblers shop that he's supposed to be working at? That's the only one I've seen.

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And that's the one that really grinds me the wrong way. I know arthritis, RA/PSA/OA etc, hurts. I also 'get' that anyone can be affected BUT why did the central character have to be an ex prisoner and ex partner/separated father? I know I can be over sensitive but why couldn't it just be Joe Bloggs from down the road? Surely the message should be that these are rotten unseen conditions to have and afflict people who may have done nothing to deserve it and that their suffering has a direct impact on family and friends. OK rant over.

J

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Rant understood! I think the trouble is although what the ad agents present is passed by the relevant company, in this instance ARUK, something's lost in translation when the people thinking them up don't suffer from what they present on storyboards (& I don't often use that word as I don't see myself as a sufferer but I'm not talking about me).

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I call it over-egging the pudding. Well, that's when I'm not speaking fluent anglo-saxon in quite warm tones. They have missed the point and totally missed an opportunity to inform the general population that arthritis is not necessarily an old people's disease, that there are lots of different types and that the effects can have far reaching effects on the person with arthritis, their colleagues, family and friends.

J

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It certainly is an odd back story I agree Jan. The point/opportunity has been missed. It would appear they've not involved anyone with the disease/s in the making of the ads at all, what makes them cross about how they & their disease/s are misunderstood.

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Just the measured and sensible response I would expect from you NMH. I could do with lessons. Wishing you well

Jan

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I haven't seen that ad, but it sounds like whoever wrote the script has ambition to write for films!

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Couldn't agree more Gnarli - for me the take-away message seemed to be 'don't employ these people, they're going to let you down', when the real story is RD robs most people of the ability to work.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who misses the great career they had until this wretched disease took over!

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Hi NMH

Hoping you are well.

I've seen the ad you refer too, which I didn't really rate- I actually thought he'd been released from prison at the start of the ad ?!

Anyway, the ads that were initially referred to are the Ines online- least that's where I've seen them.

Marie

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Hiya Marie, I can't complain, hope you're as good as you can be?

I paid attention to the ads last night but it wasn't on typically, glad I'm not alone though in thinking it's not getting the message across clear enough. I tend to skip ads online so shall have to pay more attention!

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I'm also really disappointed in the Ad. The message of " arthritis affects everyone " is very much in danger of being taken to mean "arthritis, we've all got it in one form or another". I think its biggest failing is not differentiating between that which is caused by aging and that by disease, therefore doing little to dispel the notion that the population is divided into those who just get on with it and those who make a big deal if it - us. A major opportunity to make a difference missed. Very sad

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I also think the advert has missed the point in not distinguishing between wear and tear in joints that happens as we age and an autoimmune condition where your body attacks itself.

Generally members of the public do not know the difference between Rheumatoid disease and Osteoarthritis. That's why when we tell people we have RA we get comments like 'my Gran had that in her thumb' and they think it's just a bit of stiffness or a bit of pain and don't understand it's a systemic disease that makes you feel terrible all over and can cause joint destruction, pain, stiffness and in my case attacks my tendons so I can hardly walk. They don't understand that the drugs we take to slow the disease can make us feel rotten every day and that the disease can flare badly and leave you unable to function. They don't understand what being diagnosed with this and the prospects of never feeling properly well again can do for your mental health. It's not their fault. I had no understanding of what RA was really when a friend was diagnosed a few years before me. It's only when we get it ourselves we fully understand and that's why education is needed.

Of course some people get bad osteoarthritis, I have a friend with really bad problems with her lower spine and she has lost her mobility, so not to belittle that condition at all. I have osteo in my knees and neck which cause problems, but it's nothing like RA.

I'm not sure what message the advert I say trying to get across, other than arthritis generally can severely disrupt your life, but I think it clouds the issue and makes it more difficult for those of us with Rheumatoid disease to make people aware of what we are facing every day.

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I have stopped telling folk I have PsA! I simply say I have an autoimmune disease. As previous posts have said - mention Arthritis and all you get is "oh I know I get a bit of pain in my knee now so I know how you feel" - err No you don't

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To be honest I hadn't thought of it the way you had. I do agree that people trivialise RA. I think I have problems with every joint and find it funny when people 20 years my senior tell me they know what it's like, they have unbearable pain in their thumb! I realise that pain is pain and it is a purely personal thing but sometimes think - really? I did try to get one of the radio 2 programmes to highlight the difference between RA and other types of arthritis but to no avail. I still would like someone somewhere to do an investigation to raise people's awareness.

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Totally get where you're coming from: I think the biggest frustration for most people is that it's an auto immune disease and not just joint pain (I find the additional chronic fatigue and breathlessness as worrying and limiting as the debilitating joint pain). It seems to be constantly confused with osteoarthritis, hence all the well meaning remarks and suggestions from others I think and tbh would I have thought any different before I had it?, probably not. People don't mean to be unkind or judgemental, it's just misinformation. The guy on the ad did look as if he was struck down by a sudden flare but it wasn't really explained well? It's only a short ad and I would love to see someone make whole TV programme on it; it truly is an invisible disease and poorly publicised/understood in general I feel.

I've only recently been diagnosed but had about 6 months of various random, worrying symptoms prior to that. However, when I was trying to find out about it online (because God knows you don't get anywhere near enough info from professionals), accessed an American site by ra warrior a lot and they were actively trying to change its name to either RAD (Rheumatoid Auto-immune Disease) or just RD (Rheumatoid Disease). Does anyone else think this would be a better idea? Arthritis/joint pain is only one (horrible) symptom yet the whole disease seems to be defined by it and its serious nature downgraded: you wouldn't call pregnancy morning sickness, would you? (Don't get me started on 'morning' stiffness! I am waffling now, word association brain fog, and will shut up.)

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The first time I saw the ad (young male just out of prison, gets a job, then can't get out of bed and go to work) I couldn't work out what the ad was about and thought he had muscular back pain and it was for pain killers!

There are many forms of arthritis, not just RA & OA but these ads IMO could be much better. If RA sufferers don't get them, how will the wider demographic? If, Arthritis Research are saying everyone is affected in one way or another by arthritis, then why is it that there;s so much ignorance about it??

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I think people trivialise all forms of arthritis to be honest. RA is not the only horrible form - all forms suck!

I only saw one showing a room full of empty seats? I was baffled as to the meaning but I'm often a bit dense due to brain fog and being rather literal! This was by Arthritis Research UK I think. I'm not feeling particularly delighted with ARUK just now for personal reasons. But, to be fair, it's not their task to be raising awareness and researching RA more than other forms. Lupus, Sjögren's, PsA, AS - and many other types besides all come under their banner and are all just as terrible. Osteoarthritis can be dire too. I'll look out for them more now but just seeing Arthritis Research UK ads rather than always Cancer Research ads has to be better than nothing?

And I say this as a person who spent five years with a diagnosis of RA which has now been changed to primary Sjögren's. You have no idea how many more people know what RA is than have ever heard of Sjögren's! Sjögren's gets spelt wrong all the time and even people with RD and Lupus often make light of it as a disease mainly affecting eyes and mouth. Whereas for my it's a full on systemic disease affecting every part of me - including my kidneys and brain! Imagine what it's like for most with this disease - some requiring feeding tubes, kidney dialysis - misdiagnosed with MS or RA and having to put up with jokey tennis comments re Venus Williams as the most famous Sjögren's sufferer?!

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These discussions often descend into competitiveness which is also disheartening to see, as well as highly unnecessary. Suffering is relative; in the moment, a stubbed toe may cause lots of pain and distress to someone and it doesn't matter than someone else has just had their leg amputated.

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Crashdoll I hope that you didn't think I was being competitive. I just think it's important to remember that there are over 200 forms of arthritis and all can affect people severely, as you know only too well. So ARUK are trying to highlight all forms of arthritis under one banner just as Cancer Research do for Cancer. I think it's only Osteoarthritis which is non autoimmune - but also causes many to suffer horribly.

So if these ARUK adverts raise awareness for arthritis sufferers - of any kind - it can only be a good thing I feel.

It is NRAS's job to highlight the plight of RD sufferers in particular, not ARUK's. As you say, no one disease has the monopoly on suffering.

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It was an observation based on a few comments and a general thought about how difficult it is to target advertising at the average Jo/e Bloggs.

However, given this is NRAS HU, I am not surprised that the discussion will be RA focused even though a significant majority of us have other conditions.

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Yes of course I am aware of this too - although I make no apologies for occasionally reminding people using this particular community that there are many equally serious and debilitating autoimmune diseases.

I think it's important, with posts such as this, to keep putting things in a wider context. RA is the second most common form of arthritis but only one of many Autoimmune diseases. Research is needed into all forms of Arthritis and this always needs funding. An advertising campaign by ARUK is going to be all about raising funds for further research. So how successful these adverts are in reaching as many people as possible will depend on reminding all viewers across the U.K about how arthritis impacts on them and their loved ones. Inevitably OA touches on the most lives.

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I would like to throw in a toonie into this conversation. I would love to see Arthritis Canada have advertising on arthritis. Even if I didn't like the ad, at least it would get the conversation started on the many different types of arthritis & how it effects your life.

The only ads I see are on American TV that advertise all the new biologics being offered for RA. "Ask your doctor about how Xeljanz is better than Humira"..... I have had concerned family & friends telling me to go across the boarder to get "the right medicines to cure you" or "Why doesn't Canada offer these meds?..."

Anyways, I guess what I am trying to say is at least you Brits can get the conversation going .... Over here, there is only silence. What I hear is big pharmaceutical companies competing with eachother and I am left explaining that Canada has these drugs too. We just don't advertise them....so I end up explaining that it is illegal here to advertise RX drugs....not talk about how devistating Arthritis is.

.....just my opinion

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Hiya Sue, hope you're ok? I think the reason the ARUK ad has given cause for conversation is that it's the first time we've had an arthritis charity advertise on TV & it's just not worked. So disappointing. Thankfully like Canada the Advertising Standards Authority don't allow drugs companies to advertise on British TV. I dread to think what sorts of conversations we'd need to have if they did.

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I Youtubed the advert on the man getting out of prison, I thought it was OK....but, yeah I think it should have said more.

I stated that Canada never had any advertisement on Arthritis, I was mistaken. I found one from 1959....thank God for the meds today.

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Good grief!

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And children still wen' down pits.

Makes you wonder what will be in place in another 58 years. Iron lungs were used for polio at that time too. Such is progress.

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Good grief indeed! And a good reminder that big pharma isn't all evil. I'd hate to think what I'd be like without drugs. We live in a capitalist society where most companies are run for profit, so they need to advertise their wares. Loads of adverts in UK too - but aimed at doctors not patients thankfully.

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All they had to do in the advert with the guy out of prison/kid/new job was to explain at the end - this is what RA looks like - (meaning ok one day and terrible the next)

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