Living with psoriasis may impact you in a variety of ways. It may cause you increased stress, make work more difficult, affect your personal relationships, or increase your risk for depression, all of which in turn can worsen your psoriasis. Everyone has different ways they may cope with psoriasis. Here are some tips that may help you.
Stress and psoriasis often go hand in hand. Coping with psoriasis can cause stress, and stress may make your psoriasis symptoms worse. Exercise, meditation, and eating a healthy diet are some ways to help you manage stress. Another option is to seek out a support group, either in person or online. Ask your healthcare provider for suggestions. Talking to other people who have psoriasis might make you feel better. You might also learn good tips from others about how to manage psoriasis. You can find an online support group at talkpsoriasis.org.
Psoriasis and relationships
Psoriasis may cause you to feel embarrassed, shy, or afraid to be physically close to someone. This is normal. Talk with your family and friends about your psoriasis. Let them know that it is not contagious, as this is a common misperception. Share as much information with them as you want about what psoriasis is and how it affects you physically and emotionally.
Psoriasis may be challenging for your love life. Figuring out when and how to tell someone about your condition can be difficult. Talking openly and honestly about your psoriasis may help your partner understand your psoriasis symptoms better. The severity and location of your psoriasis will probably affect when you tell someone new about your condition. You might begin by explaining how psoriasis affects your ability or comfort level in certain activities. Then, when you are more comfortable, you can share your psoriasis triggers, common symptoms, and what your skin feels like during a flare.
You may also want to direct your partner to online resources that can help explain psoriasis, if you are uncomfortable discussing the details. Read more about psoriasis and relationships here.
Dealing with depression
Psoriasis may increase your risk for depression. Certainly, some people may become depressed about their appearance or the symptoms and pain associated with psoriasis. However, it is also known that the very same inflammation causing your skin disease can have a tremendous impact on how you feel, and could therefore be a direct risk factor for depression. If you feel sad, anxious, hopeless, or tired for long periods of time, talk to your healthcare provider about the options available to help you feel better.
Psoriasis and the workplace
For some people, having psoriasis can create challenges at work. Your employer may be able to make work-related adjustments. If psoriasis limits you in the workplace, you may decide you want to talk with your employer. Describe how your psoriasis may affect your performance, including scheduling doctor appointments and the use of assistive devices like ergonomic chairs, computer keyboards, and mouse options. You may also want to have your doctor provide a letter explaining any limitations.
Consider scheduling your doctor appointments first thing in the morning or toward the end of the day. This helps reduce the amount of time you will miss from work.
You can live with psoriasis. Find helpful tips like these and much more at www.psoriasis.org.