How building self-esteem can helpCoping with psoriasis can sometimes seem like an emotional rollercoaster. As well as having to put up with the itchiness and soreness of the condition, you may feel self-conscious about how it looks and worry about how other people might react.
So it’s hardly surprising that people with psoriasis sometimes say they feel anxious, depressed, embarrassed or ashamed about their condition, and that these feelings can have a negative impact on their lives.
Building up self-esteemUltimately, how you feel about yourself is a reflection of what’s happening on an emotional level. You’re more likely to worry about what your skin looks like when you don’t feel so good about yourself in other ways. So, building up self-esteem can really help.2
Feelings of self-consciousness or embarrassment about your psoriasis are completely natural but that doesn’t mean that you have to put up with them.
Having good self-esteem means liking and accepting yourself for who you are. The plaques are only a small part of your physical appearance, and appearance is only a small part of who you are. So try looking at yourself from a broader perspective. You have many qualities. Beside your physical appearance your charm, intelligence, kindness and humor play a maybe even more important role in defining you.
When you start to think in these terms, it may help you stop overly focusing on physical appearance and help put things into perspective.
Try to stay positiveStaying positive is important for self-image, not least because it keeps negative thoughts at bay. So try to stay positive about yourself and those around you. While this is easier said than done, there are techniques that can help you to maintain apositive attitude, such as:
- Focusing on what you like about yourself.
Each morning look in the mirror and remind yourself that you have a great smile or that you’re good at making people laugh. Then, if a negative thought about your psoriasis pops into your head later in the day, you can choose consciously to remind yourself of your many positive attributes.
- Finding the feel-good factor.
Identify the things in your life that make you feel positive and energized. Perhaps seeing friends, playing football, watching a romantic comedy or dancing. Whatever you love doing, try to schedule more of it into your routine.
If the simple advice we give here and the support from your friends and family is not enough, and you keep feeling anxious or down, you should consult your doctor. He or she may be able to help you or refer you to more specialized help. You don’t have to accept such feelings as part of living with psoriasis.
- http://www.psoriasis.org/Document.Doc?id=619, p. 8, Last accessed date: 11 Aug 2015