An envelope with a paper extending out of it.

A Letter to Everyone

Have you ever thought about writing a letter about dealing with your psoriasis? I know a lady that did just that. In her case, she called it her "suicide letter." It was her way of dealing with her psoriasis. No, it wasn't about ending her life. She wrote about cutting out the parts of her life that were making her miserable. It was also about coming to terms with having to deal with psoriasis for the rest of her life. After reading it for myself it got me thinking about writing a letter of my own. Not so much of a letter just from my point of view, but a letter from 2 points of view. One letter to share what I deal with emotionally and physically and one dealing with the other person's point of view of seeing my psoriasis.

A letter reflecting on my life with psoriasis

I was told I have psoriasis. What is it? Can it be cured? How is it possible I got it when no other known members of my family have it? What if it could be from my dad's side of the family? It is scary not knowing his medical conditions since he is not in my life. Wow, I feel so terrified that there is no cure. How bad is it going to get? I already have two red, scaly patches that look awful on my leg. Will it consume my whole body? I'm single. How am I supposed to date with this ugly looking disease that makes me feel not sexy at all? I learned that it can be hereditary. Does this mean I can give it to my two sons? Fast forward a few years now I am almost fully covered with these red, scaly, itchy patches that crack and bleed. Going out in public is a nightmare. I see the stares you give me. I see you make a wide path making sure not to get to close. I am human just like you. It hurts me to see you whisper about my condition and the way I look. I want to scream I am not contagious. I want to scream to you that all I really need is a hug and understanding from you.

An outsider's perspective on psoriasis

I saw you today and wondered what those red spots are? I wanted to ask you but it's not my business. I looked at you, trying to determine if I could figure out what it is. Red scales all over your skin? It's got to be more than dry skin? What if it's contagious? Should I keep away from you so I won't catch it? Do you hurt and itch? It must bother you because you have scratched at it. Geese that looks so swollen and painful. I wonder why you do not cover it up. Doesn't it bug you knowing that all of us can see it? I see the way people look at you.....Don't you see the staring? I sure wouldn't want to be you. Am I the only one who feels this way? No, I see other people staring and whispering about it too. I see you trying to act like it's no big deal. How can you feel that way when clearly it is a big deal?

Continuing to raise awareness

So that is my short version of the letter. Five years ago you would not see the advertisements on television that you see today about treatments for psoriasis. These commercials along with celebrities announcing they have psoriasis have made it more of an everyday word now. It is less stigmatizing. So please be aware that those of us who have to live with this disease never wanted it. It is an autoimmune disease that we have to live with for the rest of our life. If you will let us, we would gladly talk to you about it. After all, educating everyone about psoriasis is the key to acceptance. I understand your fear because although it is different from mine we both have to deal with fear. My fear--a life of dealing with this disease. Your fear--is it contagious? Psoriasis is not contagious but compassion and understanding are.

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