Best Ways to Advocate for Yourself With Your Caregivers

Sabrina Skiles | Jul 11th 2017

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Living with a chronic autoimmune disease, such as psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis is hard enough. Now, throw in the fact that you want to tell your loved ones how this disease affects you but don’t know where to start. We talk about everything from medication to mental health, to help you get to where you need to be!

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Medications

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Even if you’re on one medication or three, take time to tell your loved ones about each one and how it makes you feel. If you aren’t good at taking your medication, let them know that. They can keep you accountable on when to take it — one less thing to worry about! Who doesn’t need that?

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Don't be afraid of mental health

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According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, 63 percent of all people with psoriasis say the disease greatly affects their emotional well-being. Growing evidence also indicates that the same processes that trigger inflammation in psoriatic disease may also create changes in the brain that affect emotional states.

When something just doesn’t feel right, it’s so important to tell your healthcare provider. They are trained in this area and want to give you the best treatment possible. Make sure to bring along a trusted loved one or family member to give you the support you need.

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Doctor visit

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Nobody likes to go to the doctor alone — I know I don’t. So recruit your family or friends to go with you. Let them know that you could really use their support when it comes to this new doctor. Once they know how doctor visits make you feel, the more willing they will be to come with you. Bonus: They will most likely learn something new about psoriasis!

Don’t forget to grab some pamphlets or brochures that will give you new and updated information that you can use when talking about psoriasis in your own life.

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Date me for me

Credit: Sabrina Skiles

Dating while living with a chronic illness can be a little intimidating. Make sure to tell your partner what exactly psoriasis is, how it presents itself on you, how it makes you feel on a daily basis, the medication you’re on, and the support you need. You’ll see, the more knowledge you have on how psoriasis affects you, the more confident you’ll feel when speaking to your partner or loved ones.

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The skin I'm in

Credit: Sabrina Skiles

Becoming comfortable in the skin you’re in can be a complicated process when you live with a visible disease like psoriasis. You have to be vigilant about taking good care of your skin: using sunscreen when you’re going outside, wearing the right fabrics so it doesn’t irritate your skin, taking warm (not hot) showers, eating a balanced diet of fruits and veggies, and drinking lots of water.

Having a conversation with your loved ones about how you’re feeling on a certain day is important. If you’re having a bad flare up and you don’t feel like going to that big event, make sure to tell them why. Though they may not notice the flare ups, it still makes you feel self-conscious.

Opening up lines of communication with your loved ones about how you’re feeling that day, will make you feel more comfortable in the skin you’re in.

NEXT: 7 Invisible Effects of Psoriasis