Letter to the Newly Diagnosed
Last updated: May 2019
I recently heard that you have been diagnosed with a form of psoriasis, I am so sorry that you have become one of us who suffer with this condition. I'm not sorry that you are one of us, but sorry that you have to be. Right now it might feel like the walls are closing in on you, and you cannot believe this is your new reality. You were just handed a life sentence of suffering. This might be accompanied with a small relief, as you finally have a name for the suffering you have been enduring. Finally, you know you are not crazy and that you are not making this all worse in your mind. Similarly, it might feel as though your life will never be the same again, this my friend, I am sorry to say, is true.
The shock of finding out you are suffering from an autoimmune disease can hurtle you into a whirlwind of emotions. There is no cure, and just that sentence in itself is probably one of the scariest things that I have ever heard. After my diagnoses, I recall a small sigh of relief and then spending the next 4 hours trying to read up everything on the internet. Heads up on this, it is not possible to jam all that information into 4 hours, I tried and failed miserably. Hindsight being what it is, I would have done this differently. Take it slow, go home, make some tea and just have a little think about it. The shock will wear off I promise, we all handle these things differently. Reach out to a friend or a loved one to be with you and talk to.
Your life is going to change, it probably already has. The thing is though that life changes. It is truly the only constant. We are ever-changing, growing as people, moving houses, meeting new people and I know change can be hard. This change will probably be one of the hardest you will need to do. It is hard to say embrace the change.
Once you have spoken to your doctor and decided on a way forward with treatment. Look into alternative and complementary therapies, like changing your diet. I would also suggest looking at cleaning products, soaps, shampoos and the like. Changing those to less harsh products can go a long way to helping you cope with your skin. Consistency has been key for me.
As alone as you might feel right now, I can promise you that you are not. Be prepared to allow people in to be there for you. Find an online community or two and ask anything you need to, you will find great support and possibly even make a new friend or two along the way. They can help carry the emotional weight of what you are going through. Talking to people who are going through or have been through the same thing, helps a tremendous amount. Please remember that is okay, to not be okay, some days will be harder than others. On those days, remind yourself of everything that you are, and not what you are aren’t.
While there is currently no known cure for psoriasis, there are many ways to manage it. You just have to find your magic. Work hand in hand with your doctor, do not be afraid to ask questions and raise concerns.
Does your psoriasis management change with the seasons?