Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes red, raised, scaling, and itchy lesions, but unbeknownst to many, many studies have also shown that people with psoriasis are at a much higher risk of depression.
You are not only more like to become depressed when you have psoriasis, but since there is still very little known about the disease, doctors do not rule out the possibility that psoriasis itself may cause depression. Depression often exhibits itself with hopelessness, sadness, lethargy, and a lack of interest in things you usually enjoy.
Unfortunately, even though psoriasis is in no way contagious, some believe it is, so there is a stigma to the disease. There is also people who have trouble with the stigma of the appearance of psoriasis, which then may lead to anxiety and depression. Sadly, too often people with psoriasis isolate themselves due to the stigma that comes with the condition.
How to Manage Psoriasis Symptoms and Depression
You have a lot of options to treat your psoriasis symptoms to lessen the severity of symptoms and improve the appearance of your skin. From coal tar and salicylic acid to retinoids and phototherapy, you have to remember that psoriasis is always manageable. If you find you are suffering from depression, people with psoriasis may also go on antidepressants.
Consulting a mental health professional and an antidepressant may help alleviate your condition exponentially, but getting a handle on your psoriasis symptoms should be your number one priority. Research shows that people who use the newest treatment method for psoriasis, biologics, lower their risk of depression, possibly due to the effectiveness of these drugs.
Just as addiction groups, there are psoriasis support groups, both online and in-person. If you are feeling alone or depressed, one of the best things you can do is talk to someone who can relate to your situation, and having people to discuss your problems and concerns can lower your risk of suffering from depression. You can go to National Psoriasis Foundation’s website to find a group in your city or area.
Stress is one of the common enemies of psoriasis; it may cause a flare-up and may also worsen the symptoms. Stress and anxiety are contributing factors to depression as well, so stress management is vital for people with psoriasis. Getting enough sleep and regularly exercising are the two most important pillars, but you may also meditate, try breathing exercises, and practice yoga or tai chi to relieve stress. Stress-relieving physical activities like tai chi and yoga also enhance your mood.
If you think you have difficulty managing your psoriasis and suffer from depression, considering making an appointment for assessment and an effective treatment plan as soon as possible.
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