Why Do I Feel Like the Redheaded Stepchild?

I’m ready to dive deep into this question that perhaps many can relate to. I would like to give my personal feelings about this question. For me, I’ve heard this term for many years and what really sticks out is that I’ve heard so many phrases over the years.

I’ve always felt that she (the red-headed) step child was not treated well. I’ve had psoriasis for over 50 years and psoriatic arthritis for 25 years and wasn’t properly diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis until 10 years ago. I honestly felt like the black sheep of the family.

Getting diagnosed with psoriasis, then PsA

Psoriatic arthritis is difficult to pin down, making you feel like you’re crazy. People used to think I was a hypochondriac. My pain would be in one spot and by the time I would see a doctor the pain had moved someplace else or just disappear. If you are experiencing similar symptoms, remember to tell your doctor you have psoriasis even if it’s just a patch because psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis can go hand in hand in many people.

I always felt odd--strange--disrespected--that I didn’t belong here and felt disliked. It took me years to get out of the black sheep mindset. The diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis 10 years ago was truly shocking to me, but I always knew I had it. I truly felt like the condition itself was definitely the red-headed stepchild--with psoriatic arthritis, you feel like you're alone and isolated.

When living with the pain, stiffness and all the misery it brings, It makes me feel like it’s unfair that I have it. It is a disease that is very unpredictable. It allows you its share of suffering. I know there are numerous types of arthritis, but with psoriatic arthritis is rare and you feel so different from others when you have it.

I have always felt different from the rest

This disease is different. It’s unwanted, disliked, distrusted, and truly not disciplined. It is not under our own control. Psoriatic arthritis sets itself outside of the family as if it is in a class all by herself. I know for me just like the red-headed step child, my condition annoys me; it sometimes brings so much confusion in my life that I don’t know whether I’m coming or going. Even when I treat it good, (like the red-headed step child, it shows herself off), it doesn’t treat me well back! You know when you're getting ready to do something really important and you need to get it done and just when you're getting ready to do it, that’s when psoriatic arthritis shows up and shows out!

Apart from the skin, nails, and joints, increased cardiovascular morbidity is considered part of psoriatic disease, as is also associated with inflammatory bowel disease. An itchy, red eye due to conjunctivitis is more common in people with psoriatic arthritis. I found this out through my own research because I have started getting serious sharp pains in my eyes. There is so much research to be done on this disease.

I never forget about my symptoms

So I ask you, can you relate to these symptoms and the other conditions we get as part of having psoriasis? For so many years I felt like I stood out from amongst the rest. I felt off and strange (especially growing up). When I wake up with swelling and pain all in my joints, and these flares just show up anytime. I am so reminded of how different I am.

This is just my take on it and how I relate to my condition--forever being made to look strange and feel different. If you don’t live with this disease on a daily basis you wouldn’t understand. The small things in life can make you want to beat yourself up. There are numerous disadvantages living with this condition and believe me, none of them are pretty in this sense, and it’s not a feel good disease. People can be very rude and have no patience with you with just a simple task as getting a cart to do grocery shopping.

There is no cure for psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You will have your good days and your bad days. Psoriatic arthritis can affect any age group, not just those in later life. Just because you don’t look sick is not a reason you should have to justify yourself to anyone if you are not feeling well. Just like the redheaded stepchild.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy. We never sell or share your email address.

More on this topic

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The PlaquePsoriasis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.