How to Cope with Depression and a Chronic Skin Condition
Having a chronic skin condition, such as acne, psoriasisor eczema can be associated with depression. It is bad enough to have one or the other condition, but to have both at the same time can leave a person feeling hopeless and frustrated. The good news is that there are effective ways to treat both conditions.
One way to prevent depression from developing or getting out of control is to recognize the signs of depression. Once we identify these symptoms, we can begin to treat them. The National Institute of Mental Health lists the following as symptoms of depression. Remember that no two individuals will experience depression in the same way. But if you are experiencing several or more of these symptoms for two weeks or more, you should seek help from a qualified mental help therapist.
- Persistent sad, anxious or "empty" feelings
- Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and/or helplessness
- Irritability, restlessness
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
- Fatigue and decreased energy
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions
- Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
- Overeating or appetite loss
- Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
- Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts
Getting help for your depression and/or anxiety may improve your skin condition. Feeling emotionally low can disrupt our immune system and leave you more susceptible to flare-ups. Stress is also one of the known triggers for a worsening of chronic skin diseases, especially for psoriasis, eczema and acne.
In addition to getting treatment for mental health issues, here are other ways to cope with a chronic skin disease:
Research your skin condition. This should give you more ideas for how to prevent flare-ups and manage your condition on a daily basis. It can also provide you with information about possible treatment options.
See a dermatologist to determine the best course of action for treating your skin condition. I suffered for decades with adult acne, which never went away no matter how many over-the-counter remedies I tried. When I finally went to a dermatologist in my late thirties, I was finally prescribed an effective treatment regimen.
Get emotional support for dealing with your skin condition. You may find support through specific skin disease online support groups, including: