How To Deal with My Emotions
Psoriasis can cause a range of emotions: shock, confusion, anger or frustration about what is happening to your skin. These emotions can be a gateway to profound sadness or depression, affecting your self-esteem. Many people find that this range of feelings can ebb and flow throughout life, just like the physical psoriasis lesions. Relationships, careers and self-worth can be strained if emotional responses are not recognized and dealt with as they come up.
Dealing with the symptoms of and treatments for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis can be stressful for you and those you love, and this stress can aggravate your condition. It is a vicious circle: psoriasis makes you stressed, stress makes your psoriasis worse, your psoriasis is worse so you are even more stressed! This can all take a toll on your mental health, and for some people, result in depression, which can bring stress to your system and start the whole cycle over again. You are bound to feel angry, sad and frustrated sometimes, and that’s okay, but you can’t let psoriasis have complete control over your emotions. Letting others share your pain can help.
How you recognize and respond to your emotions can play a role in how successfully you cope with having psoriasis. It is important that family members, friends, doctors and nurses also understand the emotional aspects of psoriasis, and recognize that it is a major part of living with the disease.
To better manage your disease, take a look at the following tips to manage stress
- Know yourself. Take time to be alone and identify what is important to you and what makes you happy. Work toward what makes you happy.
- Take control. Educate yourself about your condition. Find activities that give you the most enjoyment and limit or avoid activities that are not enjoyable or that put too much demand on you.
- Develop a personal support system. Having a strong network to support you can lead to better stress management. Rely on your family, friends and loved ones to help you manage your stress and your feelings.
- Practice stress-management techniques. Try activities that help reduce stress, such as meditation, yoga, relaxation techniques and regular exercise.
- Simplify your life. Consider how you choose to spend your time; try to spend less time and mental energy going over the past and worrying about the future.
- Think positively. Your feelings about yourself and your disease can have a powerful impact on your health. A positive attitude allows you to face your condition and treatment with confidence and optimism, making it easier to manage your health.
Important things to know
Do not remain alone if you are having thoughts of hurting yourself or hurting someone around you. Tell someone you trust and feel safe with. These thoughts are often temporary and talking can really help.
24-hour crisis line: 1-866-925-4419
Dealing with Depression
For some people, psoriasis–and other people’s reaction to psoriasis–can force them to evaluate how they feel about themselves. At times, this may seem overwhelming, and may result in depression. This is an understandable reaction, given that people with psoriasis have to come to terms with the fact that they have a lifelong disease that affects the way they look.
Emotions like sadness or anger are acceptable reactions, and it is your right to show your feelings to those you care about. However, you do not have to let psoriasis take control of your emotions. Hidden anger can sometimes lead to serious depression. If you are feeling overwhelmed by your emotions, especially if it is to the point of affecting your quality of life, get help from a professional. Your dermatologist or family doctor is a good starting point to get the help you need to cope with your emotions.
Psoriasis is a disease you have and must manage. It is not who you are, and it does not need to stop you from having a family, a job, or contributing to society. Finding and acknowledging the good things about yourself is an important step in overcoming depression. It’s important to be confident.
While it might be difficult to do sometimes, you can’t let your psoriasis define you. Focus on other aspects of yourself that you are proud of–your strengths and triumphs–rather than on your psoriasis. Working with your dermatologist to find a treatment that works for you can be the first step to feeling better emotionally.
Watch this YouTube Video for hope and inspiration CLICK HERE
Help is readily available. If you’re in a crisis, speak to a mental health worker who can help
- Ontario Mental Health Helpline 1-866-531-2600
- Health Canada 24-hour crisis line: 1-866-925-4419