Nine Things To Be Thankful For If You Have Psoriasis
Growing up with psoriasis, I always felt like I was cursed. I often wondered what I did wrong or what those before me did wrong to be plagued with such a disease. Up until a few years ago I could draw no positives from having this disease, but now I try to look on the brighter side of things. In the spirit of Thanksgiving and being thankful, here is a list (in no particular order) of things you should be thankful for if you have psoriasis.
1. New medicines According to the National Psoriasis Foundation there are currently 39 new drugs currently being tested for psoriasis, and they vary from injectables, oral treaments, and topicals. The options for medicines used to be limited, but now you have options that target different parts of the body. The downside is that each medicine also comes with different side effects and challenges. Speak with your doctor about your options to decide which one is the best choice for you.
2. Online support groups There are several support groups available for people with psoriasis as well as the family/friends of people with psoriasis who need a better understanding of the disease. Talk Psoriasis, Psoriasis Speaks, and Patients Like Me are among the most popular platforms. Many pharmaceutical companies also have support groups which involve videos and suggestions on how to cope.
3. Others who have psoriasis You are not alone. This is a very important element to understand with this disease. For years I felt alone, because I never encountered anyone who looked like “me.” I didn’t find out until years later that I actually did run into others just like me, but they too were hiding. There are 125 million people in the world who have psoriasis, and if you include the family and friends who are indirectly affected, the number increases.
4. Patient blogs Patient blogs can be extremely helpful on your journey with psoriasis, especially for newly-diagnosed patients. While the basic stories of psoriasis sufferers can be very similar, the experience can be very different. Check out the top psoriasis blogs of 2014 at Healthline.com, and learn more about the up-and-coming leaders in the psoriasis community.
5. The National Psoriasis Foundation Victor Henschel Biobank Have you donated your DNA? There are a few requirements to do so, but it’s worth the donation. The Victor Henschel Biobank will soon be the largest collection of DNA samples from people who have psoriasis, which is a huge contributor to psoriasis research. These biological samples will be researched and provide clinical information to further psoriasis genetic research.
6. Events Get out the house, and meet others with psoriasis beyond the computer by attending psoriasis-focused events such as walks to raise money, support groups, and meet-up groups. Check out www.psoriasis.org to find out what events are happening in a city near you.
7. Patient financial assistance programs The cost for psoriasis medicines can be so expensive that most people can’t afford the treatment. Without insurance, prices can range from $50 to $7,000 per treatment. Luckily there are programs that can help alleviate the cost of medicines. Check out www.needymeds.org, www.pparx.org, or www.xubex.com for more information.
8. Family and friends These people have been the biggest help in my journey with psoriasis. The positive vibes from family and friends help you realize that you are accepted and loved. They also help you to stand up against those who may discriminate against you! I’ve realized there are way more people who accepted my condition than ones who did not.
9. A caring doctor Finding a doctor who really cares about your entire wellbeing is imperative with finding the proper treatment for your disease. You need a doctor who observes you from the outside to the inside, by evaluating how psoriasis makes you feel. You need a doctor who spends more than 10 minutes with you. Doctors who are caring and have YOU in mind are ones who will work diligently to find the best treatment options and to refer you to other doctors if need be.