The Psoriasis and Stress Cycle
Last updated: January 2020
Modern-day living, stress, autoimmune disease, what is the connection? If there is any at all. Over the years I have spoken to a lot of people with regards to stress.
Do they think it can affect us on a physiological level, how do they cope and what their opinion is on stress, modern living and the effect on autoimmune diseases. I find people's perspectives very intriguing to say the very least.
How does stress affect psoriasis?
There are a lot of people who think that stress is not real, and that it is merely a gimmick that people use to hide behind. Something that they can use as an excuse. They say that it is all in our heads and that we should just not think about it and it will go away. Now I am no scientist or smarty pants of any description, I have however tried this.
Let’s just say, I am still trying to master this particular art. So what happens when you stress? I mean other than freaking out. What actually happens to your body when you are faced with a stressful situation, short-term or prolonged?
Releasing the chemicals
What I do know that is when we are in a stressful or frightening situation, our body’s survival mode kicks in. Mine is possibly a little over-enthusiastic, just a touch. My opinion is that this is not something we chose to switch on; our bodies do this for us.
Our brains communicate with our body and tell it, to get ready, here is a possibly dangerous situation coming so let’s get all the right juices (adrenaline and cortisol) flowing just in case we need to initiate a fight or flight response.
Now, this is a really great thing when you are actually in such a serious situation, however at your desk over lunch concerned about deadlines, I am not convinced this is the best place for it. I mean I could be wrong, I just know that it does nothing for me.
Those juices tend to cause some havoc in my body, when they have overstayed their welcome, my heart rate increases, my blood pressure climbs too. I think that they affect all parts of your body, including your immune system and your digestive tract. Again, I could be wrong; this is merely my personal opinion.
Stress is portrayed on my psoriasis skin
Depending on the situation, sometimes within minutes to hours, I can feel any and all psoriasis spots on my body chiming in with their opinion on my situation. If the said time of stress continues for too long, my skin calls in for back up and oh my those guys come guns blazing.
Before long my skin is covered in a heap of new psoriasis patches, the old ones are angry and red and the new ones follow suit soon after.
Psoriasis stress cycle
This is where is vicious circle begins, I start flaring because I am stressed, and then I start stressing because of the flare and you know the rest. It can take days, weeks and sometimes months to break that circle.
I try as hard as possible to avoid stressful situations, but as we know in this thing called life, it is not always a viable option. When I am in stressful situations, I try to get out as soon as I can and be kind to myself while I am suffering through it. Some extra TLC, can go a long way to correct the flow of chemicals in your body. It certainly does in mine.
Does your psoriasis management change with the seasons?