When you have psoriasis it can sometimes feel like you are in an abusive relationship with yourself… How many times have you told yourself you can’t wear something or shouldn’t go to a certain place because of your disease? I know I have… These thoughts accompanied with the world around us can cause a person with psoriasis to have depression; a top comorbidity of living with the disease. Check out these 7 things you can do to help battle your depression due to psoriasis.
Don’t isolate yourself
Usually, when people are diagnosed with psoriasis the first thing you want to do is hide. You are afraid of what people will think and you feel unattractive. I am speaking from experience. Let’s say you don’t deal with psoriasis on a regular bases, but you ended up having a random flare, now you feel like you want to take a break from like. Don’t isolate yourself, you will fall further into depression and feel more alone… Instead, check out the rest of these tips which will help you not isolate.
Support groups and mentorship
The National Psoriasis Foundation has a one-to-one mentorship program which will connect you with a buddy who is living with psoriasis but is THRIVING with it. The program states it is for newly diagnosed patients, but anybody who is struggling with having psoriasis can sign up and benefit from the program.
Confide in a friend
Okay, so maybe you aren’t that comfortable with speaking to a stranger about what you are dealing with no matter how much they may relate… Find a friend you can trust and confide in. I have a buddy who I text when I’m having a mental break down. I have assigned her to this purpose and she knows. We keep each other focused and encouraged when things are difficult. To avoid overwhelming her I alternate with another friend who is there for the same purpose. It truly gives us an outlet to express ourselves.
In addition to speaking with a mentor or friend find a therapist. A therapist is a professional who can give you the tools on how to cope with the depression and anxiety associated with the disease.
The National Psoriasis Foundation has a variety of ways you can get involved with the psoriasis community. This gives you an opportunity to meet others just like you and it will reinforce the idea that you are not alone in this battle. Loneliness is another reason why some of us with this disease often times feel alone.
Treat your disease and stay ahead of flares
Your biggest defense in fighting your depression is finding a treatment that works, whether it’s a natural remedy or a prescription drug, treat your psoriasis in some way. Treating your condition to clear your skin is not the only benefit. Treating your disease lowers your risk for other diseases such as depression, heart disease, and arthritis.
Be prepared to answer questions
One of the most uncomfortable moments is when someone catches you off guard and ask you questions about your disease. There have been moments where someone asked me about my condition and I literally had a panic attack. You should prepare yourself for these moments to minimize feeling uncomfortable and risking depression.
Exercise will be your best friend during a time of depression, and you don’t have to necessarily do anything vigorous. A simple walk around the block will do. Anything active to get you out your room or to get your feel good hormones going (endorphins) will work to help decrease your depression.
Laugh a little
Laughter has been proving to help people feel better. I notice when I’m sad and I happen to laugh about something, I feel slightly better. Find a video of your favorite comic and laugh a little.
Do you have any tips or suggestions that you use to help when you aren’t feeling yourself? Share your thoughts with the community in the comments.