“Support systems and support groups are so important because that’s what makes you stronger.”Nikki Bella, Professional wrestler
Living with psoriasis can be an isolating experience. It is hard not to feel a sense of helplessness because the very nature of the condition does, in some ways, mean your own body is working against you. What’s more, there is almost constant anxiety over how others will react to your psoriasis and having to handle negative or insensitive comments.
Facing issues such as these on your own while dealing with the physical symptoms and effects of a chronic illness, such as psoriasis, can be detrimental to anyone’s mental and emotional health.
Here are some of the many benefits that come with getting psoriasis support:
You begin to realize that you are not alone.
A psoriasis fact sheet released by the National Psoriasis Foundation reveals that 125 million persons worldwide, including “more than 8 million Americans,” have psoriasis. For many persons living with psoriasis, however, it can feel like you are the only one. That feeling of loneliness adds to the weight of your struggle to cope with psoriasis – until you reach out for help and realize there are so many others like you.
You find there is strength in numbers.
It was in 1905 in Boston while working with a group of tuberculosis patients that Dr Joseph Pratt, hailed as one of the founders of group therapy, first documented the benefits of support systems. Dr Pratt’s groundbreaking work exposed the positive effects of group interactions among persons dealing with the same chronic medical issue. Pratt’s work also highlighted the benefits individuals gained when the group had access to professional emotional care.
You externalize your uncertainties and your fears.
“Knowledge is a good thing, as is talking about it – it spreads understanding and dispels fear.” Toby Hadoke, English actor and psoriasis patient
Getting support for psoriasis gives you an outlet for your emotions – a way to put your feelings about psoriasis “out there” instead of keeping them bottled up inside. You feel a sense of relief when you express your thoughts and apprehensions to the compassionate listening ear of a friend, family member, counselor, or group member. That’s because sharing means you are allowing someone else to help you shoulder your burden.
You learn more about psoriasis and possible treatments.
Did you know that a support system that includes health professionals and other persons coping with psoriasis can help you better understand the possible causes of psoriasis and its triggers? You also become more knowledgeable about treatment options for the various effects of psoriasis. In an interview with the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), actor Toby Hadoke discusses his journey with psoriasis. He shares that finding a suitable treatment included constantly learning more about the disease and the treatment options available.
You experience fewer bouts of stress, anxiety, and depression.
You see yourself as so much more than a psoriasis sufferer.
It is easy to get caught up in the struggle of dealing with psoriasis, especially during flare ups. Support helps you to focus on the other aspects of your life and you begin to see yourself as more than a psoriasis sufferer. Your quality of life improves as you begin to take control of your psoriasis instead of letting your psoriasis dictate how you lead your life.
looks at the vicious cycle many persons affected by a chronic illness often find themselves in. They develop depression from dealing with the condition and the depression then leads to other physical ailments … and more depression. Psoriasis support helps to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression about your condition. You are able to think more clearly and to take a more proactive approach to dealing with psoriasis. Your improved mental state also brings with it improvement in your physical health.
You become the support others need.
Ever wonder why we tend to do good in return for good that is done toward us? It’s called reciprocity and it is a natural instinct in all humans. When you reach out for support and get it, you understand and appreciate the amazing difference it can make in someone’s life. You become much more likely to offer your support to someone else in need, whether they are struggling with psoriasis or some other issue in their life. Plus, as shown in this Berkeley Wellness article, helping others can “boost self-esteem, mood and purpose of life, which in turn can enhance mental and physical health.”