Reasons Why You Should Open Up About Living With Psoriasis
Last updated: June 2018
For almost 2 decades I avoided sharing my story about living with psoriasis at all costs; although the flaky, itchy, plaques often spoke on my behalf without my permission. Many times my plaques would make their presence known to other people by the embarrassing flakes which would hang out on my dark top or by appearing without warning on my hands, where I was unable to conceal them.
Fears of sharing my story
The reasons why I didn't want to tell people or to share my struggles was because I was embarrassed, scared of what people would think, and I figured I may be treated differently by my peers. Truth is, as much as I attempted to hide, my psoriasis always found a way to be the center of attention.
My fears started to decline in 2011 after I attended the National Psoriasis Foundation Conference. For the first time I was around other people who also carried pesky psoriasis around with them too! Some felt like me, while others had grown used to the nuances of living with the disease. I not only found people just like me, I also found my strength and the courage to tell others how this condition has affected me emotionally, mentally, and physically.
Most of us are living in what I like to call "the closet:" afraid to tell others about what we are dealing with when it comes to our disease. This closet causes us to live in fear, isolation, and suffer depression in silence. Today I want to encourage you to COME OUT... Tell someone!
Finding the courage to share
People living with psoriasis are all at different levels when it comes to how they cope with living with this disease. Some of us are strong, while others have yet to reach that point... Regardless where you are in your journey we can all help and benefit from one another. Sharing your stories with others living with psoriasis will be therapy for you and help you see you ARE NOT ALONE.
I was once scared to share my story because I was afraid those around me wouldn't accept it and would harass me because of it. Honestly, since sharing my experiences with living with psoriasis the support has been surprisingly amazing. There are a lot of people around you right now living in silence with this disease, but a simple story from you could give them the encouragement and power they need to begin thriving with psoriasis, as opposed to suffering from it. For my friends without psoriasis, sharing my story has definitely made them more emphatic of how they receive and consider others. I've seen many of my friends stick up for people with skin conditions online and tag me in a post to help others dealing with the disease.
Many of us are living with this disease and encounter the same discrimination and feelings, but your story is still unique and needs to be heard. Let's say you don't want to tell people who don't have psoriasis, that's understandable. Start with people who are living with the disease. They will understand your pain. Just remember, it is good to share your story because people living in similar situations can relate to you and not feel so alone.
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