Supporting Kids Living With Psoriasis
I was first diagnosed with psoriasis over 17 years ago. It's been a long journey and we have gotten to know each other really well along the road. There was never a time that I thought I would be grateful that I was diagnosed with this condition. At the time, I was going through so much, it truly felt that my world was ending. I have realized lately how incredibly grateful I am that I was diagnosed as an adult. Being a child is difficult enough, there is so much learning and growing. Phases and stages all come with their own challenges and new things to carry.
To be handed a diagnosis of psoriasis is life-changing, to say the least.
Take time to unpack a dignosis
By the time you have a diagnosis for your child, you and your family will likely have been through so much. Remember to take slow deep breaths. You can (and will!) work this out together and stand together. A diagnosis can be very overwhelming and seem scary at first. But what it also brings, is the answers to questions that you might have been wondering about. Take time to unpack this, process, and decide what the next steps are to move forward for your child's treatment and management of psoriasis.
Find a good doctor that can walk this journey with you and your child. One who listens and really hears what you say. It might not always be the first doctor that you encounter it may take several attempts to find the right fit for you and your child. Do not give up, you and your child deserve the best treatment for their psoriasis.
Be your child's advocate
Listen to your child, listen to what they are saying about how they are feeling, how their psoriasis is making them feel. You can make notes for your next appointment, it can be helpful to make sure you get the most out of your next appointment. It is so important to be their advocate, to stand for what they need to get the help they need and the support that they need.
Linking up with a community, with people who know what it is like to live with psoriasis, psoriasis is one of those things, that a person just does not understand if you have not lived it.
Our children's mental health
Our children's mental health is so important. My opinion is that in general, our children require more knowledge and support around their mental health. This becomes so much more relevant when they are dealing with something like psoriasis. It comes with so many challenges how the skin looks and how they feel. Check in and make sure that there is no bullying in social areas and school.
Counseling could help full to teach them to deal with difficult situations that could arise when dealing with psoriasis. It could also teach them to deal with the things that they might be feeling while figuring out what is going on with their bodies.
You can't pour from an empty cup
Be there to gently remind them to moisturize and take supplements if they need to. Depending on what treatment and management you decide to move forward with. They may need more support and gentle reminders. Remember to be kind to yourself and them. Help them grow and eat good food, feed them nutritious meals, and research what you can about psoriasis and ways to help them.
This is a long-haul journey and you are going to need to look after yourself along the way too. Remember to make time for yourself, you cannot pour from an empty cup.
Do you get frustrated with your psoriasis treatment plan?