The First Word Is the Hardest: Talking About Psoriasis
We all know it, but it can't be said enough. Psoriasis is painful. Yes, there is the never-ending itch but there is also the cracking and bleeding skin, the crippling insecurities, and being faced with answering insignificant questions. We haven't even mentioned the overwhelming treatment options!
It's all uncomfortably challenging, to say the least.
Tips for opening up about psoriasis
These frustrations, coupled with a lack of support from those around you, can sometimes feel like too much to bear. Talking with those around you about your experiences, in order to seek support, validation, and guidance can have positive benefits. However, psoriasis and its impact on your life can be difficult to talk about.
Here are some tips that may help you start conversations between yourself and those around you about what you are going through.
Find time to sit with yourself
It may seem silly, but often the first person you need to get past is yourself. While it may not be possible to be 100% accepting of yourself and your body at all times, it is important that you find the strength and energy within yourself to start a conversation with others.
Even if you are seeking support from someone else to help raise your self-confidence, starting conversations with the mindset that you want to become more comfortable with yourself can make all the difference.
Communication with family
We should only be so lucky to have a family that loves us and want to support us. In theory, that sounds ideal but unfortunate, unless the family member lives with psoriasis, complete understanding is impossible. However, when you are living with a condition that can affect your mind and body on many levels, it is important to communicate to your family exactly what it is you need from them.
Pointing them towards general information resources like this online community, and asking them to spend a few minutes reading about what’s going on in your life, can be a great starting point.
Additionally, taking family members to your doctor appointments or a support group meeting can allow them to gain a small glimpse into your world and what you are going through.
Chatting with friends, acquaintances, and strangers
How you decide to communicate with those you encounter in your daily world is totally up to you. You may have some dear friends who are considered family and that’s great!
You can decide how much information you want to share with others, and it may even help to have a couple of pre-practiced phrases on hand that you are comfortable sharing with anyone around you or anyone who asks. Basic facts or silly phrases that make you comfortable could make all the difference in an awkward or difficult situation.
When psoriasis becomes a third wheel
It is important to remember that you can control when and how you want to talk about your body, and those who respect you as a person will ask you how they can best support you.
Speaking up at work
If your psoriasis symptoms are severe enough that it interferes with your work, or if you need to take time off for doctor’s appointments or treatments, it can be helpful to open a line of communication between you and your supervisor at work.
As with your friends and acquaintances, you can decide how much you want to share, and don’t need to divulge any more than you are comfortable with.
Not the last word...
Starting with an online community like this one, or a support group of others going through the same experiences, can help you build up the courage to talk to those around you about what you are going through.
This can be the first step to building up your self-confidence.
You may find it easier to engage others in conversations that end up helping you manage psoriasis and your life over time. Let us know how you communicate with others about your psoriasis and what helps you!
Do you anxiously anticipate a psoriasis relapse?