GETTING UNDERSTANDING IS AS IMPORTANT as getting proper treatment for your disease. You need support and understanding from people closest to you because it's difficult to cope with the changes and adjustments required of living with chronic arthritis. If you are surrounded by people who don't understand what you are dealing with, it's an extra burden on you. Helping your family and peers understand helps you at the same time. Once they gain understanding, you will feel like you are all battling the disease together.