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Mental Health

Charting a new path for global psoriasis care: how to bridge the gap between health and happiness

In September 2018, the World Psoriasis Happiness Report 2018 went live. Its pages told the stories of almost 80,000 people across 21 countries, documenting the often devastating impact that psoriasis has on happiness and general well-being. Though the report demonstrated many important insights, one thing resounds clearer than most:   it’s time to rethink our approach to supporting those living with psoriasis. We need to move beyond day-to-day symptom management, and into a broader, more holistic support for mental health in chronic care. To do this, we need a new psoriasis game-plan. Closing the gap between mental and physical healthcare The World Psoriasis Happiness Report 2018 showed beyond refutable doubt that psoriasis undermines people’s happiness. And not by a small margin. In fact, in some countries, those living with self-reported severe psoriasis experienced happiness gaps of almost 40% when compared to the national average. Despite this, though we know…

Natacha Martins: Overcoming the Struggles of Psoriasis

Natacha Martins is 18 years old, and in her senior year of high school studying graphic design. Psoriasis has been part of her life since she was 4 years old. Her story shows the reality of many young people living silently with psoriasis, and how their struggles are often forgotten by society and even the educational system. As PsoHappy’s ambassador, Natacha shares some of her personal experiences with psoriasis, and how she has learned to overcome some of the challenges of living with a chronic disease, making her feel more confident in her own skin. Mocked and alienated – coping with psoriasis at school Although I’ve had psoriasis since I was 4 years old, the beginning of my school life was very unproblematic – calm with no attentive eyes as if I was just like everybody else. But at the end of primary school, things started to change.…

Dear Psoriasis by Manuel Domingos

Manuel Domingos has been living with psoriasis for more than 15 years. As a neuropsychologist and aware of the impact of psoriasis on mental health, for the first time ever he decided to share in first hand with PsoHappy the letter he wrote to “his” psoriasis. Dear Psoriasis, After 15 years of turbulent coexistence, I decided to write a few lines about our odyssey. I will tell the tale of how you dare to settle in me, remaining unwanted and vile during all this time. It was back in the year of 2003 and almost summer, when I noticed small, red dots forming all over my skin. Concerned that it could be something related to a hematological disease, I decided to immediately see a doctor. Fortunately, the results of the blood tests did not reveal anything abnormal, but I thought it was best to have a second opinion…

Investing in happiness for people with psoriasis

According to the WHO, up to 125 million people around the world live with psoriasis. That’s around 3% of the global population. What if you knew that each of those individuals, all 125 million of them, are more likely to suffer from additional, preventable diseases as a result of their condition? This is just one of the findings of The World Psoriasis Report 2018, which reveals the devastating impact of psoriasis on happiness and general wellbeing. Now in its second year, the report shows that the link between psoriasis, loneliness and misery is more real than ever before. Almost 80,000 people from 21 countries contributed to the study. Their stories are proof that it’s time to change the way we support those living with psoriasis – starting now. Up to 51% of those living with self-reported psoriasis live in misery According to this year’s study, misery as a mental state…

Ana Nunes: Never give up being happy!

For Ana Nunes, the 36-year-old from Lisbon who works in Information Technology, it has not always been easy to share her experience with psoriasis. After 23 years of struggling with this chronic disease, she decided that it is time to talk about her psoriasis, which is why she created a blog reporting different episodes about the impact of psoriasis on her life, as well as to offer advice to better deal with this condition, Diário de uma guerreira – uma vida com psoríase. When I was 13, I began to have spots and scaling on my elbows, navel and ears and at that time I was diagnosed with eczema by my family doctor. However, even with topical treatment, the spots never disappeared. At the age of 22, when I entered the job market and felt under pressure, the spots multiplied all over my body, covering about 90% of…

Maria’s story: Living with palmoplantar pustular psoriasis

Palmoplantar pustular psoriasis is a rare condition – but when it flares up, painful blisters on the feet or palms of the hands make it almost impossible to walk or do any other daily activities. Maria from Denmark knows what it’s like to live with pustular psoriasis, and now for the first time she shares her story of how she copes with this chronic condition and how she’s learnt to accept her body and herself. How it began I first had psoriasis when I was a child, but I wasn’t diagnosed then. I had a long pause with no flare-ups and then it started again six or seven years ago. My aunt has psoriasis on her scalp, so I believe it is inherited. I’ve also read that many patients with pustular psoriasis are either smokers or grew up with parents who smoked. But even after I stopped smoking, it just…

Psoriasis story: the feeling of completely clear skin

Psoriasis is a time-stealer. With completely clear skin, how much time and energy could be regained for the important things in life? That’s something Emily from the UK knows first-hand. The 29-year-old social work student has lived with psoriasis since childhood. Now, for the first time, Emily’s skin is completely clear and she shares her story of how having completely clear skin has completely changed her life. How my psoriasis started I was diagnosed with psoriasis when I was just 12 years old. At that time, I was in the USA and I thought I was getting mosquito bites on my head. Within a month, I was diagnosed with guttate psoriasis. My parents didn’t want me to be hospitalized at first, the hospital only had an adult ward, that mean’t going to the hospital twice a day, every day. I had it everywhere – it was pretty awful. But it…

NPF ambassador Melissa: Just don’t lose hope

Melissa, a 26-year-old former professional ballet dancer, has had psoriasis since her first birthday. Severe psoriasis flare-ups have not stopped Melissa from living life to the fullest, and now for PsoHappy, she shares her story: what it means to live with this chronic condition, and how she got involved in psoriasis advocacy with the National Psoriasis Foundation. The stigma of psoriasis Living with psoriasis is difficult. First of all, it’s on your skin, so you wear it everywhere you go. With many other diseases, your disease is not the first thing people notice and you can choose to disclose it if you feel comfortable doing so. But with psoriasis, you don’t have that choice at all – and people often respond to it very negatively. When I meet someone new, it’s all they can see about me for a while and that’s the unfair part of the disease. I…

Rayanne: We can also get over this!

Rayanne has never shared her story. The 26-year-old from Brazil feared that it might prevent her from getting a job, or make people doubt her potential. But when Rayanne discovered PsoHappy, she decided to tell her story for the first time and let others know what it’s like to live with psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis.   How I wasn’t diagnosed Today, I know I have psoriatic arthritis, but it took me 10 years to find a name or meaning for this disease. I was treated like a teenager who just wanted to get attention. When I was 12, I heard the doctors say that I was faking pain; two years later, they warned my mother that I was focused on pain because I wanted to have access to narcotics. At the age of 16, with the pain getting worse, I even lost my ability to walk – my immune…

Ron DenHollander: “Psoriasis doesn’t define who you are”

Ron DenHollander was born in Holland and raised in Ontario, Canada. For most of his life, Ron has been living with psoriasis – now he’s hoping to create more awareness by sharing his struggles and triumphs while dealing with this chronic condition.   First diagnosis My psoriasis started when I was four or five years old. At that time, in the 1970’s, people didn’t know much about psoriasis but we accepted differences among people, so I didn’t experience bullying in school. Psoriasis never prevented me from dating or living life to the fullest and my father always encouraged me by saying “just don’t worry about it”. In my twenties, I played city wide competitive football and, unfortunately, had a lot of injuries. That’s when psoriatic arthritis began to appear. I was diagnosed with psoriatic and rheumatoid arthritis when I was just 25. In the past, I used to work…