Are you depressed with Psoriasis?
Have you ever felt that your dermatologist didn’t really care about your emotions when discussing about your Psoriasis condition? Did he or she seem to brush you off, or even trivialize the situation?
You are not alone in feeling this way as some dermatologists have admitted that it’s often easier to address the physical condition, as compared to the emotional trauma of Psoriasis.
But the truth is, the emotional burden that Psoriasis brings has been found to be equivalent to those experienced by heart or even cancer patients. Even though the condition isn’t exactly life threatening, the fact remains that about 7.5 million Americans suffer from this condition, which means that the psychological need is significant.
How do Psoriasis patients actually feel about their condition? What is the psychological impact of Psoriasis specifically?
In the study titled “Psoriasis: snapshots of the unspoken: using novel methods to explore patients’ personal models of psoriasis and the impact on well-being” published in the British Journal of Dermatology, Dr Christine Bundy had utilized postcards distributed to her network of psoriasis sufferers to learn about the feelings that they were experiencing.
Psoriasis sufferers also tend to feel either one of two ways about their condition. Some feel that psoriasis is integrated with their identity, while others feel that psoriasis is non-integrated and separate. For the former, psoriasis is thought to shape their identity, to the point of feeling deserted once psoriasis clears up. On the other hand, those who feel as separate from their condition view psoriasis as imposing and monstrous, or even as a tormentor.
In terms of relationships, some can’t get pass their psoriasis and thus have become withdrawn and reclusive. Social lives are affected, as these sufferers feel ashamed with low self-confidence. Due to the inherited nature of the condition, family members blame themselves for causing psoriasis on their offspring.
There is also a sense of constantly being in a battleground with psoriasis. It wasn’t only just a public battle. Those who had psoriasis also felt invaded by the condition, or even violated. The inability to control their situation is also tormenting for some.
As a result of the physical manifestations of psoriasis, sufferers lose their confidence, become moody and feel rejected and isolated. Some even feel angry and hatred towards their predicament, while others are filled with despair and desperation.
Even whilst treatment is available to manage psoriasis, sufferers feel that the need for treatment is a burden and time-consuming. Furthermore, after being preoccupied with treatment, and not having a complete cure, sufferers have also often felt frustrated and disappointed.
There has also been an inclination that their GPs are unable to fully understand their predicament, and thus has also been insensitive toward their condition.
In conclusion, while this study had not been conducted in a scientific manner, with no specific demographic information collected, a generalization of the emotional and psychological factors cannot be made. Nevertheless, these insights have proven to be helpful to make a case for future research to be done. In addition, specialists are now able to gain a more overall viewpoint on the emotional needs of psoriasis patients, and thus may help medical authorities make the shift towards the need for psychological management in psoriasis patients.