Psoriasis: Emotional Support During Treatment

While you're getting treated for psoriasis, make sure you find a way to manage the stress and emotions that may tag along. Reach out to family, friends, and support groups to get the backing you need.

Rely on Family

Your close relatives, like your parents, spouse, or a brother or sister, can be a huge help. You can usually count on them to understand your feelings and offer practical help.

Don't take their backing for granted, though. A support role doesn't come easily to everyone.

To make sure you and your family are on the same page, follow these tips:

  • Help them understand what the treatments involve and why they're important.
  • Ask for practical help, such as a ride to the clinic, or someone to keep you company.
  • Remember that psoriasis can be stressful for those around you. Tell your loved ones how much their support matters to you. 

 

Lean on Close Friends

Your best pals can be another source of help. Since most people know very little about psoriasis, it's important to help your friends learn about it and its treatment.

Reassure your friends that they can't catch psoriasis from you. Explain that unlike many diseases, there's no cure. It's a condition you'll need to manage for the rest of your life.

If you're trying a new treatment, tell your close friends how it works and what the side effects might be. Ask for practical help if you need it.

Don't be afraid to let them know how you feel. That's what close friends are for.

Be Up Front at Work

You may have to take time off from work for treatments or the side effects they may cause.

Talk to your supervisor and any co-workers who need to know. The more they understand about psoriasis and your treatments, the more supportive they're likely to be.

Do your part to make sure it's not disruptive when you have to miss work. If you have to be away for part or all of a day, plan ahead. Get caught up on assignments before you have to go. Find people to cover for you, if needed.

If you don't get the support and help you need at work, make an appointment to see a human resources counselor.

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Talk to Your Health Care Team

If you can't manage the stress on your own, talk to your doctor. They may be able to refer you to a psychologist or counselor who can help.

If you're having serious side effects from treatment, let your doctor know right away. Treatments can cause depression, fatigue, skin sensitivity, joint pain, and other things. Your doctor may suggest ways to ease those problems.

Find a Support Group

It's helpful to speak to other people who also have psoriasis. They understand what you're going through and can offer personal suggestions.

To find a support group in your area, check with the National Psoriasis Foundation. It keeps a list of active chapters. The organization also offers mentoring to connect newly diagnosed people with volunteers who know about the condition.

Events such as walkathons and benefits organized by the National Psoriasis Foundation or local groups in your area can help, too.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD on December 04, 2018

Sources

SOURCES:

National Psoriasis Foundation: "Treatments," "Connect With Others."

Linda Cornish, dermatology nurse, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Oakland, CA.

Julie Nelligan, PhD, health psychologist, private practice, Portland, OR.

Cornish, L. Dermatology Nursing, February 2008.

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