6 Ways to Cope With the Stigma of Psoriasisby Amy Tudor Patient Expert
If you have a chronic skin disease like psoriasis, it can be easy to let people's comments or curiosity get you down. But there are ways to protect yourself from self-consciousness brought on by the stigma of psoriasis.
Perspective is everything
Attitude is important. With any chronic condition—including psoriasis—your feelings and challenges are sure to change over time, depending on how you feel, how well your condition is being managed, and other factors. Try to find activities you enjoy—keeping your spirits up can help you view your health challenges as just one part of the adventure that is your life.
Having a network of supportive family members, friends, and others can help buoy you against the more difficult aspects of life with psoriasis. If you find yourself without the support you need, talk to your health care team about psoriasis support groups that meet in person in your area and/or online.
Talk it out
Talk therapy can help people develop a better understanding about themselves and the world around them. When you have psoriasis, it can be helpful to talk to an impartial counselor about how your condition affects your life. Therapy is often covered under insurance, as well.
Build a foundation of healthy habits
While there are many factors that affect psoriasis flares, good health habits can go along way to improve your physical and mental well-being. A healthy body image—from eating right, exercising regularly, managing stress, etc.—can help you feel less self-conscious about your skin condition.
Learn what bothers you
Try to figure out what parts of having psoriasis make you the most self-conscious. Do you hate it when people stare at your skin, or do comments or questions make you uncomfortable? By learning what affects you the most, you can be better prepared to address the situations when they arise.
Educating yourself--then educating others--are great ways to break down the stigma of psoriasis. At the very least, it may be easier to deal with people's comments or questions when you understand your condition and are prepared to respond to them.