Psoriasis: 7 Ways I Show My Depression Without Saying It

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Prior to my advocacy work, I lived in shame with psoriasis. Friends would ask me to hang out at the pool or join them for a spa day, and I would decline with general excuses like: “That’s not my thing,” or “I don’t like swimming.” The truth was I was afraid to show my disease to others.


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Facing fear

So instead of participating or sharing my fears, I made up lies about why I wasn’t interested. I knew if I shared psoriasis as the culprit for not wanting to participant in an activity, my friends and family would work to change my mind.


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When it’s too much to handle

Although I appreciated the encouragement and support, revealing my disease to strangers by baring my skin in public was too much to handle. Here are 7 ways I show my psoriasis is affecting my mental health without saying it.


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  1. I cover up

Sometimes I don’t feel like being a walking billboard for psoriasis. For me, the hardest part of living with the disease is being in public with spots on my skin and not being able to tell strangers why I have them. If I don’t feel like dealing with the looks I get and the awkward conversations that happen during a flare, I cover up.


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  1. I avoid the pool

I enjoy the poolside, but if I’m flaring I avoid chlorinated water at all costs. The chlorine dries my skin out and I’m not too excited about wearing a swimsuit in front of others either.


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  1. I decline invitations

During summer, I dislike attending outside events because I will typically wear pants and long sleeves for the reason I stated earlier. Therefore, I may decline certain events to avoid possible shame.


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  1. I avoid shopping

I enjoy shopping, but a trip to the mall can make me feel resentful when I can’t just buy something cute that I like because I worry about how it will look, given the visible signs of my psoriasis.


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  1. I become paranoid

In those rare instances when I do decide to expose my flare with short sleeve or shorts, I’m paranoid the entire time. I think people are staring at me, which ends up giving me anxiety including racing thought and an increased heartbeat. It’s a horrible feeling.


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  1. I avoid the spa

I love to receive pedicures or manicures at the spa. However, when I’m flaring I’m less likely to go. I’m afraid other patrons in the spa may potentially sneak a picture of my legs and post them online to make me a victim of online bullying.


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  1. I complain about summer

When my psoriasis is at its worst, I hate the summer because that means I either have to expose my skin to strangers or cover up and be hot.