I’m a pretty laid back guy. As the oldest of 6 children and the father of 3 busy boys, I have learned that people are very unique and there are a LOT of personality types out there. I have also realized that with each personality comes a plethora (that is just a big fancy word I use for “many” when I need to feel smart) of opinions and experiences. And that is what makes humans beautiful, right? We all have different strengths and weaknesses and skills that we share. Unfortunately, when one person or group feels their strengths, skills, experiences, etc. are superior is when we run into problems.
Don’t worry, this isn’t a political post. But it is about something that has gotten me a little peeved. That thing is peer bullying. Bullying is not a new subject to most of us that have psoriasis. Whether it is overt rude comments or a slight disgusted look, it stings. It makes us question ourselves and reminds us we are different.
Keeping safe places safe
This is why online support groups and psoriasis communities are so popular. Safe places are sacred to those of us with such a visible disease. A place where we can expose our skin, our fears, our victories, and our defeats is necessary in a world that puts so much emphasis on appearance. That is why it is of utmost importance to keep safe places safe.
Lately, I have been noticing what I like to call peer bullying within some of the support groups I am a part of. I will say right off the bat that there are about 100 amazing people to 1 bully, but it shocks me so much that I feel the need to bring it into the light. I notice this type of bullying usually when treatment is discussed. One person feels that because they “healed themselves” with a specific regiment, that everyone else is foolish for not heading to their advice.
It has gotten to a point that I have felt weird admitting that I am on a biologic medication. I feel that I am somehow lazy or uneducated based on the reactions I get from those few fellow psoriatics that have found success from a more natural treatment and feel that because it worked for them, it will work for everyone. Oh how I wish it was so!
Words mattermedication”. I think these people have good intentions. They want to help others and see them achieve clearance. But too often I have seen these comments turn to shaming and harsh tones.
So I am pleading–please be careful with each word you say and type. It’s all too easy to cross boundaries behind a screen. You may think that because you also have the disease, you have an authority on what works and doesn’t, but that isn’t always the case. This disease is so multi-faceted and complex. It’s great to share your experience, but the best thing you can offer your psoriatic brothers and sisters is compassion and understanding.