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Over time, Suzie has found ways to deal with the emotional impact of her psoriasis, incorporating new activities into her daily routine and reflecting on the things she is most grateful for.
Life has changed so much over the past 9 years, especially since psoriasis showed up. I first noticed it in 2013 under my fingernails. At first, I didn’t know what it was and as it wasn’t causing me any pain or discomfort other than the way it made my nails look, I didn’t pay it too much attention.
Over the next year or so, my scalp became itchy, and I noticed that when I scratched flakes of skin would fall from my scalp onto my clothes.
Fast forward to 2016, my Granda passed away, we were close, and I found myself consumed in grief and at that time, life was a struggle. I noticed that within days of him passing psoriasis spread very quickly to my arms, legs, stomach, lower back, and forehead. I had already been diagnosed with plaque, scalp and inverse psoriasis by this point and I had finally been referred to the Dermatology Department at my local hospital.
To date, I have had two rounds of UVB phototherapy and one course of coal tar therapy. I use emollient/moisturising creams and topical treatments.
Living with psoriasis can be challenging. Since my diagnoses there hasn’t been a day that I haven’t had it on my body somewhere. As time passed and I learned to live with the grief of losing my Granda as well as trying my best to live with this very itchy, raised, sore looking condition on my body I noticed that it wasn’t only affecting the way my skin looked, I was also struggling to keep a positive outlook on life.
I was always a glass half full type of person, who could brush off any negative feelings and focus on all the good in my life. I had noticed that the smile was slipping, I felt sad most of the time and so alone. I didn’t know anyone else who was living with psoriasis, and I didn’t want to burden my friends and family with the way I was feeling.
So, I decided to help myself! I had faith in the medical teams looking after my psoriasis. I focused my time, finding ways to help myself emotionally. I researched, read a lot of books, and followed people who inspired me. I meditated, attended yoga classes. I started a gratitude journal; I wrote down every morning at least 10 things that I’m grateful for and I reflected on these 10 things every night before I went to sleep.
I still do all of these things each and every day. I sing and dance, go for long walks and through all of this I have found a true passion for writing, a talent I never knew I had. Sharing my story gives me the confidence to talk to others about ‘living with psoriasis.’ I am no longer ashamed of the way I look, in fact today I’m so grateful for psoriasis because without it I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I hope that I’m more understanding of how other people feel and I’m more mindful of the way I react. I choose to be present in the moment and no matter how challenging ‘p’ can be I choose to make the most of every day.
I know that psoriasis might always be a part of my life and I’m at peace with that. I will continue to work on my emotional wellbeing every single day and I’m so grateful for the skills I’ve learnt and the progress I’ve made. I will share my experiences to help build awareness of a condition that I feel is misunderstood, after all knowledge is key and together we are so much stronger.