Finding Support When Living with Psoriasis

Eileen Bailey Health Guide
  • Psoriasis is a lifelong condition. You live with pain and itching. The thick, scaly patches make you feel embarrassed. You never know when your psoriasis is going to flare up. As with any other chronic disease, you live under constant stress, and you feel alone.


    Finding support is important. It gives you a chance to talk about your feelings, be included and gives you the emotional support you need. The following are ways you can find support:


    Support Groups


    Check with your local hospital, newspaper or doctor to find out if there is a support group in your area. There are also many support groups online, such as talkpsoriasis.org. A support group gives you the chance to exchange ideas, swap stories and learn from one another. It gives you a chance to vent and talk about your frustrations with people who know exactly what you are going through. If you can find an in-person support group, you have the opportunity to discuss local doctors or find additional resources in your area. At the meetings, there might be presentations or special guests talking about different aspects of living with psoriasis.

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    Mentors


    The National Psoriasis Foundation operates a mentor program for people recently diagnosed with psoriasis. This program gives you a chance to talk to someone who has been through what you are going through. It gives you a chance to ask questions, find resources and learn about lifestyle changes to help you manage your symptoms. It gives you the emotional support needed while learning to live with psoriasis.


    Social Networking and Message Boards


    There are a number of social networking resources and message boards online that you can use to find other people living with psoriasis. Like support groups, these sites give you the chance to talk about your experiences. Skin Care at HealthCentral.com is one such site. Besides this site, other sites include:


    National Psoriasis Foundation Message Board

    Psoriasis Help Organization


    There are also numerous Facebook pages for psoriasis.


    Sign Up for Local Events


    The National Psoriasis Foundation sponsors events, such as More Than Skin Deep, that give you the opportunity to participate and volunteer at events in your area. These events give you a chance to learn more about psoriasis, meet health professionals in your area and make new friends.


    Reach Out to Your Friends


    Sometimes, people with psoriasis isolate themselves from their friends and family. You might be embarrassed during flare-ups, or the pain and itching keeps you from participating in social events. Start by reaching out to a few friends and getting together. You might worry about other people’s reactions to your psoriasis. Focus on friends who accept you no matter what. You might feel like no one understands what you are going through. Chances are, if your friends don’t have psoriasis, they don’t know what you are going through, but they might want to be there for you. Although it is difficult, isolating yourself and dealing with the loneliness is also difficult.


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    Seek Professional Help


    If you are having a hard time coping with your symptoms of psoriasis, a mental health professional can help. This gives you someone to talk to and someone who will listen and offer suggestions for managing your emotional distress. If you are also experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety, mental health professionals can help you cope and work with you on getting the treatment you need.

Published On: March 11, 2014