Part 2: All the Mean Questions About My Psoriasis and How to Respond to Them
People will always have something bad to say about your psoriasis. So much, in fact, that I needed to break down my own experiences into 2 articles. If you're looking for additional mean questions and how to respond to stigma, you can start at the beginning here.
People won’t understand your coping mechanisms all the time. Some will never go out of their way to try to fit themselves into your shoes, some will never try to consider what you feel.
Even more mean comments about psoriasis...
Though it's easier said than done, try not to take it all so personally. At the same time, know that you're not obliged to swallow your anger all the time. Protect yourself, your mental health, and your peace. Set up boundaries and don't let people run over them.
In this article, allow me to continue to share (and debunk) most of the questions and misconceptions that are thrown at me whenever I share my illness with others - as well as how I respond to them.
"Try this soap, try this lotion! My aunt who has psoriasis does this and it works for her!"
Ugh! Don’t you just hate receiving unsolicited advice from people that you don’t know, or people that you do, but have zero idea of what you’re going through. I hate it when they shove their opinions to you. When they insist that their way is the only way to be cured, and that others just won’t work at all.
Even when their intention is to be helpful, unsolicited advice can sometimes be intrusive and even offensive.
A great response, other than just keeping silent and staring at them blankly while they talk until they stop is either to not pay attention to what they say (because I’m sure you’ve heard it a thousand times already), but letting them know that you’ve tried that and it didn’t work for you. In my experience, I let them know that every psoriatic patient responds differently to treatment and medication. What works for others may not work for you and vice versa. I try my best to explain that I’m still in the journey of finding out what would work for me.
“You’re lucky it’s just psoriasis. It’s not something totally dangerous or life-threatening!”
I know. I am aware that there are a lot of diseases that are more serious and debilitating than psoriasis but hearing this statement just invalidates me and the pain that I am going through.
I know that there are a lot of things to be grateful for, and believe me, I am. But I can be grateful and at the same time, I can still grieve for the life that I’ve lost because of my condition. One does not oppose the other. I am free to feel both.
Sometimes, when I don’t have the energy to argue, I just nod. But sometimes, I tell them that they are luckier than I am because they can do everything they want without being hindered by their own body.
The best response is no response
In general, it’s easy to lose your patience and just snap at people. It’s easy to throw mean comments especially when they are being rude and insensitive to you, too.
But what I’ve realized from getting stereotyped and hearing negative things from people about my condition is that sometimes, the healthiest response is not giving them a response at all. Protect your peace. You can never control what others will say, but what you can control is your reaction.
Where on your body does psoriasis bother you the most?