Being a teenager comes with plenty of struggles and hardships in and of itself. Body changes occur and new experiences present themselves every day; whether social, physical, or mental. As if dealing with all the new challenges and changes wasn’t enough, imagine also having to face a life-changing disease. Many people don’t think of the toll psoriasis can have on a person’s mental health, nor do they consider the added stress it can create in the life of a vulnerable teen.
Many young adults dealing with psoriasis often feel isolated from their peers. This could be due to the impression that they are different from everyone else, causing them to feel inferior. It is also possible that they encounter cruelty or even bullying triggered by the physical appearance of psoriasis. This is an unwanted and detrimental side effect that should be taken seriously. Feeling insignificant, uncomfortable and awkward are all normal for a teenager, however; those feelings are only compounded when coupled with a prominent skin condition like psoriasis. Providing support, comfort, and assurance to the distressed teen will help him or her cope.
Considering everything previously mentioned, what can be done to help maintain high self-esteem in a teenage psoriasis patient? First, communication is critical. Reassure the child or patient that their feelings are valid. Second, education is essential. Understanding all aspects of the condition can instill confidence in the patient that replaces the fear of the unknown. The knowledge gained can also be shared with others who ask about their condition. Finally, encourage professional help. A dermatologist who is understanding of the patient’s feelings is imperative, but it does not stop there. If additional support is needed, a counselor, support group or therapist can help the patient cope with the mental stigma which will aid in curbing depression when the situation is severe.
Dealing with psoriasis is hard enough, but fighting the physical condition is only one of the obstacles. In order to properly treat psoriasis, one must treat not only the outward appearance and symptoms, but also address the psychological side effects of the disease. To learn more about treating psoriasis, contact us today at 419.636.6304 or [email protected].