Adolescence - Coming Up Tops Against Psoriasis
By Freedom 360
Medically reviewed by Freedom 360 Panel of Doctors
Adolescence can be both angst ridden and emotionally traumatic as you straddle childhood and adulthood. Throw in psoriasis and you have double the load that your friends have on their plate.
Many teenagers suffering from psoriasis feel embarrassed, self-consciousness, fearful and sometimes very alone in their struggle to live with the condition. But know this – you can come up tops and live a normal life – just like everyone else. It takes courage and it takes perseverance, as you’ll have to put in the effort and work a little harder to achieve it.
Be prepared for stares and ignorant comments as psoriasis can be a very obvious condition that is hard to hide. It is important to remember that psoriasis does not define who you are, and will not stop you from excelling in life. Here are some tips to help you manage the issues you may face.
Know your stuff!
Knowledge is power! Although you may be young, you should be aware of your medical condition. Knowing about psoriasis means you can educate your friends and those around you. Reassure your friends that psoriasis is not contagious and tell them it stems from an immune disorder- not because of your hygiene.
Having psoriasis is nothing to be ashamed of, so open up and discuss it with your friends and help clear up their doubts and fears.
Let it out!
You might receive insensitive remarks from other people and this inevitably leads to frustration and hurt. Coping with hurtful comments is never easy, but do not take them to heart as they are probably ignorant of your medical condition. Furthermore, negative emotions impede success and are also energy-drainingi. So it is vital to learn to release your negative emotions when you experience them.
Acknowledge your feelings but find healthy ways to deal with them. One positive approach is to exercise. Exercise helps cultivate a healthy lifestyle and stimulates the production of endorphins, which are our body’s natural mood elevatorsii. This will help purge out the negative feelings and allow you to feel refreshed.
Another way is to express your emotions in a creative manner. This can be through pastimes you enjoy like art, music or even cooking. Being able to do what you love naturally perks you up. If the occasional screaming at the beach when no one is around helps, go ahead and let it out! It is important to chase away the negative emotions so they don’t build up inside of you.
Look for support!
You need to realize that there are people willing to help you. As psoriasis is a life-long condition, psychological and emotional support is imperative. Talking to someone, be it your parents or your friends, or even your doctor about psoriasis is beneficial. Although they may not fully understand your plight they can empathize with you and offer emotional support.
Joining psoriasis support groups is also advisable. This is a platform where you can connect with other patients. As they have experienced similar circumstances, they are better able to empathize with you. It is important to know you are not alone! Such support groups can offer more than support to young patients. Talking to other psoriasis patients allows you to learn from their experience, which might come in handy as you learn to cope with psoriasis while growing up.
A hopeful future!
Your skin does not define your future. Although psoriasis is life changing, take heart that it is not life threatening. Many psoriasis patients have gone on to lead fulfilling lives and you can too.
One such example is CariDee English. Despite battling with psoriasis since she was a kid, she went on to win America’s Next Top Model in 2006 and enjoys a successful modelling career.iii Dealing with psoriasis is frustrating but it also teaches you how to better cope with stress and become an even stronger person.
Defeat psoriasis, do not let it defeat you.