Dealing with a very visible, chronic skin condition like psoriasis can leave you feeling like you are living your life through the disease, completely at its mercy. Psoriasis can dictate the leisure activities you engage in; the career path you take; how you interact with family and friends; and whether or not you pursue intimate relationships. That is, if you let it!
Keep reading to discover some ways in which you can take control of the effect psoriasis has on your quality of life.
How Can You Take Back Control of Your Life When You Have Psoriasis?
Much of what we will share in this section hinges on your willingness to be proactive about tackling your psoriasis. If you feel you need support and encouragement to help you take those first steps, there are trained professionals, as well as other persons coping with psoriasis whom you can reach out to for support.
Explore Treatment Options
Much of the power wielded by psoriasis comes from the fact that it is so visible. Take that power away by exploring the many different forms of treatment that are currently available for psoriasis.
Talk with your dermatologist about over-the-counter and home remedies that may be effective against mild forms of psoriasis. If one treatment does not work, then ask what else is available. Moderate and severe psoriasis, for instance, have been shown to respond very well to light therapy, systemic drugs, and biologics.
Take Care of Your Mental Health, Too
Did you know that according to the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF), “People with psoriasis are twice as likely to become depressed as the rest of the population”? Anti-depressants are known to be effective in helping persons with psoriasis. So, too, is talk therapy or psychotherapy with a trained and licensed professional.
Group therapy is another way you can get help with coping with the psychological effects of psoriasis. Plus, it is possible to get group support at home via online psoriasis communities, some of which are moderated by certified therapists. That means having a really bad flare up and feeling like you are better off staying home does not mean you have to completely disconnect from the rest of the world.
Offer to Help Others
Want a really big boost to your quality of life? Offer to help someone else with their psoriasis journey. One of the biggest rewards that comes from offering your support to others is that you benefit, too! It has been scientifically proven that when we help others, it doesn’t just improve their quality of life, it improves ours as well.
Consider volunteering to mentor someone else who is struggling with psoriasis, perhaps a child or teen. Or, become the voice of psoriasis in your community, at work, at church or among your online social media groups. You can help persons who do not have psoriasis to understand the disease better and become more empathetic towards those affected by it.
Learn How to Handle Negativity
You can’t control the stares, sneers, and negative comments that others might greet you with because of your psoriasis. What you can control is how you react to them. Responding to negative reactions with a self-assured smile might be enough to throw the offender off balance and make them rethink their unpleasantness.
If the situation allows, a simple sentence explaining that you have psoriasis and it is not catching is also a good move. You can also make a conscious decision to turn each negative reaction you receive into an opportunity for self-love. For example, someone expresses scorn and you silently remind yourself of your outstanding qualities. Think of the things that make you special and why you mean so much to family and friends.
According to the National Wellness Institute, there are six dimensions of wellness: physical, occupational, emotional, social, intellectual, and spiritual. They are all interconnected and you will find that focusing on each one will help to improve your quality of life with psoriasis. In all dimensions of your life, do not allow your psoriasis to stop you from doing the things you enjoy doing – the things that bring you satisfaction and make you feel good about yourself.