Keep The Blues Away
By Freedom 360
Medically reviewed by Freedom 360 Panel of Doctors
Psoriasis is a lifelong chronic disease and requires timely and appropriate medical care. In addition to the physical impact, psoriasis can exact a significant mental and emotional toll on patients. Many patients bemoaned that they shy away from human contact due to self-consciousness, embarrassment and helplessness over their psoriatic condition.
Patients have been observed to fall into a cycle of despair and isolation that is further exacerbated by their low self-esteem and poor adjustment stemming from the social stigmatisation of the disease. Treatments are lengthy and quite costly and this adds economic concerns onto the already-laden burdens shouldered by psoriatic patients. This cycle can degenerate to depression and anxiety. If left unaddressed, patients can feel utter despair and become unable to manage their disease effectively.
People who are at a loss will resort to different coping mechanisms such as abusing alcohol, overeating or self-imposed isolation. These coping methods can seriously deepen comorbid health conditions associated with psoriasis including heart diseasei , diabetesii , obesityiii and smokingiv . These psycho-social consequences can be dire as stress is a documented trigger for flares of both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
In the National Psoriasis Foundation's Mental Health Issue Brief v , it reported that patients with psoriasis have a 39 percent increased risk of depression, a 31 percent increased risk of anxiety and a 44 percent increased risk of suicidality. Patients with severe psoriasis have a 72 percent increased risk of depression.
Depression is a clinical condition but many still find it difficult to bring up the subject that they need professional help to tackle their depressive moods. Professional support can be very effective in keeping the blues away when the patients are carefully guided to acknowledge their feelings and keep depression at bay.The privacy of a psychiatrist’s clinic can be the ideal sanctuary for a patient to vent his anger or express despair without the fear of public retaliationvi or negative consequences.
In addition, patients can pick up different strategies to manage stigmavii . Psoriatic sufferers should not feel pressured into disclosing their condition at work or to friends and acquaintances. Take your time to deal with public stigma one step at a time.
Physicians also encourage patients to connect with othersviii because it will help lessen their depressive emotions and know that they are not alone in their dilemma. With a group of friends and acquaintances, a patient will have the opportunity to voice their frustrations and find a shoulder to lean on.
Keep up with news on psoriasis and newer treatments to help feel more positive about the future. Continue to meet with your support groupix on a regular basis to discuss the latest news, gather for parties and meals, or simply to exchange ideas on living a better and happier life in the face of psoriasis.
Never give up because you are worth the fight and you have the power to manage your condition.
- Psoriasis Linked To Diabetes And Serious Cardiovascular Condition, April 18, 2007
- People with severe psoriasis have nearly twice the risk of diabetes, October 15, 2012
- Psoriasis And Obesity Linked, December 12, 2010
- Smoking May Make Psoriasis Worse: Heavy Smoking More Common Among People With Psoriasis, December 19, 2005
- Research analysis and references can be found in National Psoriasis Foundation's Mental Health Issue Brief available at
- Dealing with depression
- Dealing with depression-related stigma
- Coping with your emotions
- How To Deal Depression Because of Psoriasis