I feel depressed and my psoriasis is breaking down my confidence. Is this normal?
Getting a diagnosis of psoriasis can be a shock. You may feel confused, angry or depressed about having psoriasis and it’s all normal. You will need to accept and come to terms with the fact that you have psoriasis, and this might not be easy to do, but it can be done. Everyone feels things differently.
Therapy, support groups or an online community might help you, or you can discuss your feelings with your doctor or an adult. It’s important to accept your feelings, but also to get help dealing with them if you need to.
What can I do to help myself cope with psoriasis?
Having a support network to talk to about psoriasis and what you’re feeling can be a big help. Your support network might be your family or friends, or you might want to talk to someone else who also has psoriasis.
You can join an online psoriasis support group or chat line. As long you have someone who is willing to listen and recognize the strong feelings that can come with psoriasis. Your dermatologist can also suggest how to deal with the emotional aspects of psoriasis.
Finding an outlet for strong emotions such as anger or sadness can help too. You may want to try things like exercise, art or journaling to express your emotions in a healthy way.
Will I have to deal with others’ reactions to my skin all the time?
Not necessarily–psoriasis is a reality that you have to live with, but you don’t have to let it take control. There are ways to avoid dealing directly with others about your psoriasis if you choose, and you can use these techniques whenever you want. Wearing long sleeves, for example, can make coping in public a lot easier on days when you don’t have the emotional energy to accept the stares and questions.
Another way of dealing with other’s reactions is to educate them and spread public awareness of the disease.
What about my future?
Your future is based on a lot more than just your skin! It’s your intelligence, character, and relationships that help you make life’s important decisions–like a career path, whether to attend university, and what kind of person you want to be–not your skin! People who have psoriasis lead positive and productive lives. The coping skills you develop to live with psoriasis may even help you later in life to deal with stresses and changes that come along.
I am a teenager with mild psoriasis, but I believe I have the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. Am I too young for arthritis?
Psoriatic arthritis usually occurs in patients between the ages of 30 to 50. However, psoriatic arthritis makes up about 10 to 15 percent of all chronic childhood arthritis cases. The arthritis precedes the skin symptoms in more than half of the children.
Unlike adults, psoriatic arthritis affects girls two to three times more than boys. Studies show that children and adults with psoriatic arthritis may start out with only one or two joints involved, but over time, more than half progress to four or more joints (polyarthritis).