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In her story Sophia explains the impact her psoriasis has had on her mental health, and how taking part in a recent body positivity photoshoot has helped her to begin to regain her confidence.
It started 15 years ago. I was called fat at school so I decided the best thing to do would be not eat, time went on I got really poorly and also ended up having a kidney infection. My immune system wasn’t strong enough on its own. Then all of a sudden my face trebled in size as a reaction. I started getting red spots come up like a small rash. I thought it was a reaction to the medication the hospital had me on and so did the doctors. Within 2 days I was covered, minus my face, from head to toe.
It took weeks for the doctors to realise what it was.
Then I was told it was Psoriasis but it was ok because it would just ‘clear up’. My health got better but my psoriasis was still there. It had calmed down but it was there. I had to go back to school and it was summer so everyone was in just a T-shirt, not thinking I took my jumper off and few people saw it and made fun of it. So that was it, the jumper went back on and in the last 13 years I’ve hid my skin from the majority of people.
Having psoriasis had led to anxiety and depression. I’ve really struggled with this and to this day I still take antidepressants and tablets for my anxiety because I’m so disgusted by my own skin and I’m petrified of other people’s opinions. I have been looked at like it’s contagious or people feel the need to stare at it because I’m different and people have made nasty comments about it.
I’d refuse times out with my friends because I didn’t want anyone to see it. I’ve cried way too many tears to count because of psoriasis. My confidence basically disappeared. My relationships have ended because of it. I’m scared to meet new people because of it.
Every treatment I have tried has not worked for me. Or has for a certain amount of time.
When I have a flare up I literally hibernate. Nobody would see me. I can’t even put into words how psoriasis has made me feel, how embarrassed, disgusted and hateful for myself. I’m just sick of being me. The way the media is everybody looks so perfect they have beautiful skin why can’t that be me? 😩 I just want normal skin. Just as I was kind of coming to terms with the skin I’m in it got worse but it wasn’t just my skin now, I just felt different. I was then diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. Stressed and upset by this here comes another flare up of course. That little bit of self-hope I just got back. Gone with in a click of the fingers.
Then I was scrolling through social media one day and came across Selflovebynatalieamber. She helps people with body confidence shoots. In a moment of madness I messaged to get involved. Please have me 😂 let’s raise awareness for psoriasis.
The shoot wasn’t till October so I had a few months to get ready for it.
Those few months flew by, the 2 days before I was panicking like what I could do to get out of this. Everyone encouraged me to go. I bit the bullet I went. I’m so so happy I did. Natalie Amber was/is amazing she made me feel amazing. I started of in my dressing gown so scared to show my skin by the end I was in my underwear! Psoriasis, what psoriasis? 🤷🏼♀😂 I now want to raise awareness for psoriasis and I want us to feel comfortable in our skin. My mind-set has completely changed! I have psoriasis I’m not going to hide anymore. I’m going to help others with it and make people more aware of it! All thank you to Natalie Amber. #selflovebynatalieamber