Are you feeling alone and isolated with psoriasis? About 16% of psoriasis sufferers have reported hiding themselves away from other people because of their skin condition1. However, facing up to psoriasis alone can have detrimental effects on your mental health. Here are four ways to find support.
1. Support groups
More than 125 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with psoriasis. In most countries, these patients have banded together to form support groups. Support groups, such as the Psoriasis Association of Malaysia bring together people who are going through or have gone through similar experiences. It also provides an opportunity for people to share personal experiences and feelings, coping strategies, or firsthand information about the disease or treatment. For many people, a support group may fill a gap between medical treatment and the need for emotional support.
2. Family and friends
It is important to understand that your loved ones may not completely understand the nature of psoriasis. Hence, it may fall on you to get the conversation going. Explaining to your friends and family about some of the key features of the disease will go a long way in helping them to understand it. When your loved ones understand how psoriasis affects your everyday life, they are better able to give you the support you need.
3. Professional advice
Sometimes, the feeling of isolation can stem from a more serious condition. Depression is a common co-morbidity associated with psoriasis. It is important to recognise some of the key symptoms of depression early. Speak to a mental health professional if you are experiencing some of these key symptoms. Your dermatologist will also be able to provide a referral for mental health services if you require them, so do not be afraid to share your concerns with them at your next appointment.
4. Social media
Tools such as Facebook and Instagram have gone a long way in connecting patients from across the globe. Patients can share their daily experiences with psoriasis with one another, while warding off incorrect and harmful information. The ease of access to people who share similar experiences is great for psoriasis patients who are unable to participate in support groups. These online groups can be of great help to both patients and caregivers to better understand the disease.
1. Clear About Psoriasis Survey