My Daily Thinking About Psoriasis
A day doesn’t pass when psoriasis doesn't infiltrate my thoughts. My skincare regimen bookends my day with moisturizing, bathing, exercise, and treatments. I wonder how my psoriasis is doing from the moment I open my eyes, especially if I’m experiencing a flare.
Other psoriasis-related activities might advocacy work - including phone calls, researching, social media engagement, and writing.
When psoriasis consumes my daily life
Consider psoriasis within your daily thoughts while living with this condition are simply a given. What is important to monitor is the nature of those thoughts.
I fret about whether my treatment still works or not. If I need to change medications, I ruminate over which ones to consider. I feel frustrated if my skin keeps me up at night or affects my ability to function well in the day.
Sometimes the negativity leads me to feel like having psoriasis is an incredible waste. I shudder to think about the sheer amount of time, effort, discipline, and care that has gone into managing it. I can’t escape the reality that I have a chronic, unpredictable, often painful, and itchy skin disease.
Tips for reframing those thoughts...
Addressing how I think about psoriasis is crucial to my managing, and even thriving, with it. My mentor from years past shared a life philosophy that I’m reminded of today. “Nothing is wasted,” he would tell me. Although he didn’t have psoriasis, his life experience exemplified a positive approach to even the worst of times.
In the following, I share three thoughts about psoriasis that help me stay positive and see that something has been gained through my four decades of living with it.
Be open to trying something new
I feel like I’ve tried just about every possible way to better cope with my psoriasis. Pills, injections, diets, exercise, creams, ointments, phototherapy—you name it, I’ve probably tried it. None of them, unfortunately, has worked as effectively, safely, or durably as I hoped.
So, you can’t blame my skepticism when someone offers a psoriasis treatment or lifestyle change that claims to cure my psoriasis. That attitude, however, might keep me from something that could actually work. While trying something new brings a set of risks, it also brings potential benefits.
What helps me overcome negativity about trying something new is remembering lessons I’ve learned through failure. Trial and error create a pathway to innovation, growth, and positive change. I wouldn’t be able to manage my psoriasis as well as I am today if I refused anything different or new.
Recognize opportunities for personal growth
My mentor challenged me to see difficult challenges as opportunities for personal growth. “Hard, but good” became a mantra of mine especially when I needed to shift my attitude toward psoriasis. Psoriasis is not good in itself, of course, but something good can be gained by openness to learning from a challenging experience.
I’ve grown in courage, compassion, and resilience through the long, dark journey with psoriasis. Some days I required courage just to get out of bed and go to work when I felt overwhelmed by my health. When I see others with chronic health conditions, I respond more compassionately knowing it’s a difficult path to tread each day.
That hard-earned resiliency leads to greater confidence that I can handle much more in life than I imagined. Thoughts of insecurity, doubt, and frustration still crop up daily. But I can also push through discomfort and worries in many areas of my life remembering how I will be shaped by them for the better.
Focus on a better future
It’s no secret that we can never truly know what will happen tomorrow. Treatments suddenly stop working. Insurance issues pop up unexpectedly. Skin flares spread like wildfire. Unpredictability with psoriasis has played havoc in my mind more times than I care to count.
Unfortunately, thoughts that drift toward negativity or potential catastrophes don’t help me face the troubles of today. Sometimes the worst-case scenarios come to pass. However, most of the time they don’t. Identifying those thoughts is the first step for me to calm my nerves and work through them.
During my last dermatology visit, I remarked that I thought my current biologic is not working as well. My dermatologist reminded me that we still have options to try. She pointed my thoughts to how my future with psoriasis could improve instead of dwelling on the bad that could happen.
Coming out of the clinic that day I felt hopeful. My daily thoughts about psoriasis have become more so as well.
How often do you think about psoriasis? Is there anything that you would want to change in how you think about it?
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