The psychological impact of psoriasis is often major. Visible lesions and the almost constant presence of scales and itching make people with psoriasis feel stigmatized and isolated. Battling with psoriasis is a constant struggle, it is exhausting and wearing and the results can sometimes be disappointing. This leads to the development of various psychological disorders, such as loss of self-esteem and self-confidence.
Relational problems affect all types of social relationships, at work, or with friends, family or partners. Anxiety, stress and depression can also be associated with psoriasis. Some patients develop addictions to tobacco, alcohol or other drugs. This has an extremely negative impact not only on the person but also in terms of the disease, as toxic substances such as alcohol and tobacco are contributing factors that promote flare-ups of psoriasis.
Psychological disorders related to psoriasis can occur at any age, regardless of the severity of the disease, even if it is generally the most severe cases that are affected. Sometimes these psychological disorders are already present and the skin disease will simply aggravate them. Unfortunately, the psychological impact of psoriasis is still underestimated, both by the general public and by those directly affected, i.e. the person with the disease and their family and friends.
Other people can often give questioning looks, or even stare in a nasty or pitying way, which doesn't really help you feel better about yourself! Sometimes, coping with other people staring is just too much, it is easier to avoid certain situations rather than having to explain yourself, or why your skin is red or itchy.
In this situation, there is only one solution. You must end your silence and talk to someone, break out of the vicious circle which can gradually become a personal prison, when your psoriasis is really visible and you are in a bad mood. Talking to your family, a friend, a healthcare professional or a patient association, will help you learn how to live with psoriasis on a daily basis. Draw strength from the people around you so that you can start to accept the disease. This acceptance, also known as resilience in psychology, can even have a visible impact on symptoms and improve your quality of life.
On the other hand, mentioning psychology and psoriasis in the same sentence does not mean that psoriasis is a psychological or psychiatric disease! It is not "in the head" but in the skin.