WHY YOU SHOULD CONNECT WITH OTHER PEOPLE WHO HAVE PSORIASIS
At least 60 million people in the world have psoriasis.
Although there are many questions that remain unanswered about this complex disease, one thing is certain: we are stronger when we connect.
Psoriasis is an unpredictable condition that can flare up at any time. It can be triggered by stress and has a strong association with anxiety and depression.
The thick, scaly patches of psoriasis can be a source of both discomfort and embarrassment, which is why people with the condition commonly experience feelings of isolation.
Don’t go it alone
Living with psoriasis can be a challenge, but you do not have to face this alone. You may find that connecting with other people who have psoriasis is most helpful to you because they understand what you are going through.
Psoriasis is a life-long condition which is why psychological and emotional support is very important if you have it.
You can’t change the fact that you have psoriasis, but you can empower yourself with support, information and advice to help you live well with your disease.
Only people who have psoriasis can fully appreciate what it is like to live with it. Carers, friends, and family members might empathise but people who don’t have it may not fully understand how physically and mentally disabling it can be.
It helps to realise that you are not alone. If you have psoriasis, finding other people to share your experiences with can be life changing. They understand just what you are going through and may be able to offer their advice and share their experience.
The benefits of connecting with others
The value of an open and encouraging environment where people affected by psoriasis can connect, share experiences, exchange information, meet like-minded individuals and gain valuable emotional support and coping techniques cannot be overemphasised.
Sharing the impact that psoriasis has had on your life can make you feel like you are in control of the disease, rather than the disease being in control of you.
Connecting with others who have psoriasis enables you to:
Consider different ways to manage psoriasis
Understand how it affects others in public
Share coping techniques to reduce flare-ups
Evaluate treatment options
Find resources to help you manage your disease
Making a difference
Connecting with other people who have psoriasis has benefits for all involved. Sharing your story can inspire others and you may feel a sense of worth and accomplishment in helping to make a real difference.
Your story is valuable, and you could be directly involved in supporting research and healthcare policy developments in psoriasis.
Social media now means that support is often at your fingertips.
‘Psoriasis community’ forums and groups created for patients and loved ones living with psoriasis tend to have tens of thousands of members and meet both online and in person.
You can ask your doctor if there are any psoriasis support groups locally. In-person support groups often get together at a hospital or community centre. Perhaps you could even consider starting one yourself.
On-line forums enable people living with psoriasis to read about some of the most popular treatments including side effects and effectiveness and get answers to common questions.
Talking about psoriasis can only be a good thing.
The Global Psoriasis Atlas is helping to kick-start an international conversation and get people connected.
Bringing together both the latest data and compelling insights, the interactive web platform is a valuable resource for those living with psoriasis as well as researchers, policy makers and healthcare providers around the world.
It is only by spreading understanding and building this rapport between patients, public and professionals that the stigma and fear surrounding psoriasis will eventually be stamped out.