5 Emotional Symptoms of Psoriasis I've Felt
Last updated: August 2019
You've heard of a rollercoaster of emotions, right? Well for me, prior to 7 years ago, there was no such thing as a rollercoaster. Having psoriasis was more like a one-way ticket to hell with no way back up. I hated the fact my body was mostly covered with the flaky, itchy, irritating, inflamed plaques of psoriasis. Most times I didn't understand my emotions enough to truly identify them thus my feelings went unheard. All I knew physically, mentally, and emotionally I felt extreme discomfort.
When it comes to psoriasis, I have felt a multitude of emotions, mainly ones of discomfort and sadness. As a person growing up with psoriasis most of these emotions had a unique place in my life and in my mind were there to either help me to reason, to protect me, or to give me a "reality check." As I stumbled into adulthood I realize these negative emotions were doing more harm than good and today I work to let them go. Here are the 5 emotional symptoms of psoriasis I experienced and the reasons why:
Psoriasis caused a multitude of fears, which was mostly derived from the insecurity of living with a visible disease. I feared people would assume I was contagious and discriminate against me. I feared I would never find an effective treatment. I also feared no one would ever love, one of the reasons being my psoriasis.
Psoriasis has a tendency to make you feel guilty. There have been times I internally scolded myself for not being more diligent with a treatment. Other times I've made up excuses not to do something with friends because I didn't want to have to expose my skin, and I dealt with the guiltiness of lying about why. Sometimes you feel guilty for having psoriasis in the first place and think to yourself what could I have done differently?
Summertime was always when I felt the most sadness and depression. I was unhappy with the fact I had psoriasis and couldn't show it without stares or questions. It made me sad when people stared or made rude comments. Now as a psoriasis advocate I take advantage of every moment I can discuss and share the mechanics of psoriasis, but back then I lived in shamed and avoided any opportunity to talk about my disease. Due to sadness, I isolated and avoided lots of situations.
Psoriasis is a very embarrassing disease. I've been embarrassed by the unidentified flakes I left on the restroom at work and at school. I've been embarrassed by the dry up blood on my sheets. I've been embarrassed when someone asked in front of a group of people, "What's up with your skin?" The embarrassment is linked to the shame of having the disease.
This can also be called anxiety. I remember locating the little bit of courage I could muster up to wear short sleeves or shorts. The entire time I would be out I would worry about who was looking at me, what they were thinking, or what they would say. I remember almost quitting a pageant because I was overwhelmed with the thoughts of what people would think of me when I walked out on the stage with my psoriasis spotted skin. Worry was a huge component of psoriasis.
There are many more emotions I've felt due to psoriasis. What has helped me thus far is acknowledging these emotions, giving myself self-care, and sharing how I feel with trust people especially others living with psoriasis. What emotions have you dealt with while living with psoriasis? How do you break the cycle of negative thought patterns?
Are you recently diagnosed with psoriasis?