This content reflects the views of the individual blogger and is not intended to advise you about your health. Always seek advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare professionals.
Most people think of psoriasis as a skin condition, but we know that it affects a lot more than just your skin. The mental side of psoriasis is not spoken about as much as it should be. Psoriasis can take a toll on your mood, your self-confidence, and even your relationships. It can be hard to look in the mirror and not recognise the person looking back at you or your own body due to patches of psoriasis.
To make matters even worse, people can make negative comments...sometimes unintentionally but unfortunately also sometimes intentionally.
I have had my fair share of negative comments over the years. These comments have really hurt me and at times have made me feel ashamed of who I am. However, over the years I have developed methods of dealing with negative comments so that they don’t play on my mind like they used to.
It can be hard to deal with negative comments but below I list some of my methods and tips that will hopefully help you deal with negative comments better. Remember when someone makes a negative comment it is not a reflection on you but a reflection of them.
1. When someone makes a negative comment, educate them
Sadly, you may be all too used to second glances and unkind remarks about your skin from others. A lot of negative comments about psoriasis comes from a lack of understanding and education. In these moments I like to educate the person on what psoriasis is. I have a few short sentences memorised that I use whenever necessary that simply explains what psoriasis is.
For example, I will tell people that psoriasis is an immune-mediated condition that appears on the skin but does not just affect the skin. I explain that usually the skin can take 3 to 4 weeks to renew itself in a regular cycle however when you have psoriasis, patches of your skin can renew every 3 to 7 days causing the build-up of skin, irritation and redness. And then explain that that is what is on my face (usually what they have commented on) and ask if they have any more questions.
This method might not be suitable for everyone as it took me a long time to have the courage to be able to do this. If you’re not feeling confident, I would suggest educating people but then ending the conversation and not asking if they have any other questions. Remember, psoriasis is a personal condition and if you’re not comfortable talking about it in detail you do not have to. By having a few lines and sentences ready that you can use in these situations it will put you back in control and make you feel more confident. You will also have educated the other person and hopefully this means they will not make negative comments to other psoriasis warriors.
2. Sometimes, they might mean well
Have you ever had someone, maybe someone close to you, tell you that you need to learn to live with it or that it’s not that noticeable or that no one is looking at your psoriasis?
With a long-term condition like psoriasis you can feel like you’re not in control and whilst these comments are intended to be kind they can sometimes come across as negative and cruel.
It can be especially difficult if these comments are coming from a loved one, but you have to tell them that these comments, despite their best intentions, are not helpful. If you do not speak up they may continue to make comments like this that will make you feel down and negative about yourself.
Again, it comes down to education in these situations. People don’t always know what to say so say what they believe is helpful even if it isn’t to you. By having an open and honest conversation about it, the person will understand more about the condition and will therefore have a better understanding of what to say to someone with a chronic condition like psoriasis in the future.
3. Be Positive
Being positive is probably the last thing you feel like being when someone is being negative towards you. However, fighting negativity with positivity is a helpful way to steer the conversation in a better, more positive direction. Even if it doesn’t work, you can walk away knowing that you were the kind and bigger person.
I hope you never have to deal with negative comments in real life or online, but if you unfortunately do, I hope these tips help.
UK/IE MAT-26782 Date of preparation: July 2019
Article developed in partnership with LEO Pharma.