The Mind-Body Connection: Mental Health and Psoriasis
I probably could write a book about being depressed with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. I think that after having this disease for over 50 years that I have lots of material.
We can’t throw our mind away with no matter what we think or what type of disease we are dealing with. I find the link between psoriatic arthritis disease and mental illness to be amazing. Stress is a common trigger for psoriatic disease. When we live a life of disease we are more likely to suffer stress. This also can turn into what the psoriasis world would call a flare.
I remember a period in my life where I was depressed. I never got a proper diagnosis for it, but I would walk around all day sad and cry a lot.
My doctor once told me that depression with psoriasis can trigger inflammation in psoriatic diseases that may create changes in the brain that affects emotional stages. Psoriasis is linked with many mental health disorders. The skin is the interface between the inner and outer environment which makes it a mind and body connection. Substance dependence and eating disorders have also been associated with psoriasis. It seems as if this disease is a never-ending cycle. We just don’t get a break.
Factors that may be connected to mental health
Here are some things that could lead to anxiety and depression
- Having lack of a social support system. Join a support group or surround yourself with positive people.
- Sleep disturbance. You need to get a good night’s sleep.
- Being covered in this disease and can’t do anything about it. Take one day at a time.
- Lower serotonin may be linked to depression, which could be from diet or lack of sunlight
- Smoking cigarettes alters the immune system through T-cells and causes inflammation. Quit!!
- Not taking care of yourself. Well, start today. The better I feel about myself; the less depressed I become.
Roadblocks that we can face
I’m glad to say I’ve haven't faced many roadblocks in a few years now because I’m up on my mental health. I try and stay informed and educate myself on this disease. This has allowed me to stay connected to my good mental health days. I know depression is real. I know anxiety is real. They can have real power over our minds and take control over every aspect of our life. I have learned over the years to say to my inside body that it must be good so that my outside psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis can act right.
Our mental health is crucial and slipping into a psychotic break is very sad, but yet it happens all the time. I want to let others know that because of our disease we are a quick target for mental illness and breakdowns.
I have accepted the fact I have psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis that will never go away. I have accepted that every day is not going to be perfect. I have accepted that people won’t be nice to me always. I know there is no cure for my disease and I have accepted that. Finally I’ve accepted the fact that I can have a breakdown or a breakthrough. I choose a breakthrough for my mental health. We can’t change our disease or the symptoms but we can choose how we deal with our mental health. Remember, you are not alone in this journey.
What are you grateful for in your psoriasis experience? (Select all that apply)
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