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Mental Health

Happiness expert Meik Wiking: “We are trying to put well-being at the core of healthcare”

Meik Wiking is the CEO of The Happiness Research Institute, an independent think tank exploring why some societies are happier than others, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Little Book of Hygge. Meik explains his mission in the PsoHappy and Happiness Research Institute and shares the key insights from the new World Psoriasis Happiness Report 2017. How and why did you get involved in PsoHappy? The mission we have at the Happiness Research Institute is to figure out how we measure happiness and well-being. Figure out why some people are happier than others. And ultimately – try to understand how to improve the quality of life. And I think more or less it’s the same thing as LEO Innovation Lab mission but with a focus on people living with psoriasis. We benefit from LEO Innovation Lab, in terms of insights and technology and its digital innovation.…

5 Tips to Manage Psoriasis From the Inside Out

In October, PsoHappy published the first World Psoriasis Happiness Report. The study involving more than 120,000 people with self-reported psoriasis spanning 184 countries shows that living with a chronic disease has a major impact on quality of life. These are 5 suggestions on how to manage psoriasis from inside out based on insights from the report: 1. Ask the questions that bother you Did you ever feel that your doctor is not clear on giving you instructions and all possible information about the treatment for your condition? You’re not alone: 45% of psoriasis patients in USA don’t think they have been informed about all the different treatment options related to their skin condition, and 36% of respondents don’t believe that healthcare professionals are clear about the treatment options for the psoriasis. It’s important to take an active role when talking with your doctor – ask the questions that bother you…

Insider’s story: Yvonne shares 5 tips to be happy living with psoriasis

My name is Yvonne, I’m a 40-something full-time employee in a public sector and a happily married mother of two, living in Manchester, UK. It hasn’t always been this way though – I’ve cried many silent and public tears over psoriasis. I want to share my story with you and give a brief insight into my psoriasis world. How my psoriasis started My mother tells me I’ve had psoriasis since I was a baby and it all started with a little line under my eye. My earliest memory was going into the hospital in the centre of Manchester and having my hair cut very short before I went in, crying out loud and wanting to go home. Staying at age 3 in a strange place for a month wasn’t easy but must have been even harder for my mother. My mother remembers “All you could see was the whites of…

The Emotional Burden of Psoriasis

Your skin is the largest organ, so anything affecting your skin would eventually influence your overall well-being. Psoriasis is a lot more than having raised, itchy plaques on the skin. The disability due to psoriasis can be just as significant as other major conditions, like diabetes and heart conditions (1). The visibility of dry, scaly skin patches lies at the core of the emotional burden of psoriasis. That explains why most of the psoriasis sufferers are conscious about their skin and want to have a clear skin (2). How Can This Emotional Burden Manifest? Unfortunately, the media has ingrained an idea that physical appearance is the most important attribute of a person’s individuality. Therefore, any defect in it is considered a huge anomaly and is often ridiculed. When a person is not able to socialize or feels victimized, it is only natural that he would feel angry, upset, and…

Four Surprising Facts about Psoriasis – and Why Your Doctor Should Know about Them

The Happiness Research Institute collaborated with Psohappy and carried out a survey to explore how psoriasis sufferers feel about their condition. The study was conducted during January 2017 and included 645 respondents from all around the world. The analysis revealed some interesting facts about psoriasis and how people perceive this condition (1). Here are the top 4 surprising facts about psoriasis that we learned from our survey: Fact # 1- Females feel more affected by their psoriasis than males Previous studies on the effects of gender on the quality of life in psoriatic patients revealed either no gender differences or males being affected more than females (2, 3). But, surprisingly, our research produced slightly different results. Our survey showed that females feel more affected by psoriasis than males. In our survey, 49% women felt ashamed about their appearance, and only 23% were hopeful about their future. These…

Five things psoriasis patients should not be ashamed to talk about with their doctor

Psoriasis is a complicated skin condition, and it can flare up anytime, anywhere. Psoriasis is not limited to your skin only. It alters your emotions, social interactions, psychological well-being, interpersonal relationships and what not. While it is hard to face these issues, it is equally problematic to talk about them. Still, you need to speak to your doctor about these concerns so that you both can talk it out and find reasonable solutions. Here are the top 5 things you should not be ashamed to talk about with your doctor. # 1- Mention How Depressed or Stressed You Feel Research has shown that mental health and psoriasis severity might be closely linked. Psoriasis is likely to make you prone to depression, anxiety, and affective mood. These elements, in turn, can worsen your disease severity (1). Since many taboos surround psychological issues, people do not reach out to a doctor till…

Being Alone With Psoriasis – How to Deal with It

Did you know loneliness and social isolation can be more harmful than smoking and being an alcoholic or obese? In a study, researchers found that loneliness was more dangerous than smoking 15 cigarettes a day and caused more damage than being an alcoholic or obese (1). The emotional burden of psoriasis can be substantial. It can make you feel depressed, anxious, angry, alone, and stigmatized (2). Of all these emotions, loneliness is perhaps the most crippling. Loneliness can both be the cause and the effect of psoriasis. In simple words, you feel alone during flare-ups when you cannot connect socially with red, itchy plaques showing on your skin. In turn, loneliness blazes negative emotions that can aggravate your skin condition (3). Loneliness is not the same as being alone. Being alone is not necessarily detrimental and is often temporary. Loneliness, on the other hand, is when you feel disconnected…

What Your Doctor Wants You to Know About Psoriasis?

Did you know that psoriasis affects more than 100 million individuals worldwide? Psoriasis is a tricky condition and we still don’t understand it completely. From its possible causes to diagnosis and management, the understanding of this condition remains elusive. For what we know so far, psoriasis is an autoimmune disease. In other words, your body sees your skin cells (called keratinocytes) as ‘foreign’ entities and triggers a number of inflammatory reactions that accelerate the division of these cells. As a result, you get patches of thick, itchy and inflamed skin on different parts of your body. But, psoriasis is more than just a skin condition. It has a great impact on your physical, mental, and social well-being as well. When you have a chronic condition as psoriasis; it is important that you know more about managing its symptoms, possible triggers and how to live with it on daily basis. So…

How I Accepted My Psoriasis

Before I was diagnosed with psoriasis, I would just tell people, “Oh, I have a rash,” or “I must be allergic to something.” After my diagnosis, I didn’t always want to go into it. Sometimes it was easier to use my old stand-by lines, even though I knew they weren’t true. If I said the word “psoriasis” out loud to others, that would mean that I really had it. Forever. PsoHappy found that as people with psoriasis get older, they tend to accept that they have a chronic condition and start taking care of their skin and themselves. If I could go back in time and have a chat with my younger, embarrassed self, here’s what I’d say. Psoriasis can flare up at any time, anywhere, so learn to deal with it. Sometimes a flare-up will coincide with the most important social event on your calendar. Sometimes a flare-up hits…

How I Stopped Psoriasis from Controlling My Life

I used to let my psoriasis dictate my life: my clothing choices, what activities I’d participate in, and even my attitude. Eventually, I realized that this is a chronic disease—meaning, it’s not going away. So I could let it control me, or I could learn how to live with it. Here’s what I did to take back my life. Take back yours! Say “Not Today, Psoriasis!” Can I guarantee that I’ll never let noticing a new plaque bring me down? No, but I can stop psoriasis from controlling my mood today. Today I will choose how I feel based on what I accomplish at work, the time I spend with my family or friends, and the fun I have participating in my hobbies. Today I will say yes to myself! Concentrate on What I Can Control We all know that punched-in-the-gut feeling when an uncontrollable flare-up happens at the worst…