Newly Diagnosed with Psoriasis: What’s Next?
Illnesses can come in many forms and take on different weights. The common cold, for instance, may be a little annoying and require a week or 2 of extra rest, but what about the illnesses that change our lives forever?
Receiving a diagnosis of psoriasis can be confusing, frustrating, and ominous. It can be one of the most overwhelming experiences and lead to many feelings. It is often said that the 5 stages of grief are more than applicable to beginning your journey with a chronic condition.
The five stages
While not everyone will follow the same step-wise pattern, there are 5 common stages of grieving life-altering news. These are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. It is not hard to imagine the denial and anger felt when you are told your life is going to change. It's also not hard to imagine hoping something is not true or feeling mad that it is happening to you.
We may often bargain, wondering whether we could have done something differently or thinking that if we promise to change certain ways, the situation will disappear. More often than not, bargainers find themselves struggling with frustration and confusion, which turns into serious depression. Struggling is not uncommon, and outside help may be needed – which is completely okay.
Acceptance is the final step in the grieving process and the hardest to come by. It happens when we finally accept changes and put our best efforts into understanding and anticipating what comes next.
What to do now
While some stages of grief are more challenging than others, it is a process to be worked through. One of the most important things to consider, however, is that you are not alone. There are many others who are struggling or have been struggling with similar feelings. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or depressed, it is so important to seek help.
Whether help comes in the form of a community like ours, support from family and friends, or attention from a healthcare provider, it is important to treat all health conditions, including mental health conditions. Depression, defeat, and anxiety are all incredibly common, and while things may never be “perfect” – but really, who’s even 100% perfect anyways?! – there are steps that can be taken to help you get on the right track.
Never be afraid to ask for help, and know there are always people who will be there for you. Especially our community!
Getting to the acceptance stage and maintaining that acceptance can happen in a variety of ways. Take charge of your health by constructing the best healthcare team for you, learning all you can about your new (or old) diagnosis, researching treatment, and finding support groups to ease the burden and help you continue to fight.
Things will most certainly change when you receive your diagnosis. There will be grief, sadness, anxiety, and a feeling of being overwhelmed. But there are so many resources that are created specifically for YOU! Please let us know how you are handling or have handled your diagnosis and tell us about any advice you would give to someone just starting along this path.
Do you get frustrated with your psoriasis treatment plan?