Be kind to yourself

Psoriasis (Pso) doesn’t just affect the body though – it’s common to feel frustrated or overwhelmed, and your wellbeing and quality of life may be affected.1,2 Pso can be difficult to live with, and make you feel anxious at times.3 You may feel self-conscious or embarrassed about your skin,1 which might make you avoid social situations or keep you from getting on with your daily life.2,4 In fact, up to about a third of people with Pso feel agitated, depressed and have difficulty concentrating, particularly if their skin is very itchy.5 This stress can even affect how well you respond to treatment; it may also trigger flare-ups or make the Pso worse.6 
 

TOP TIP

“I used cognitive behavioural therapy to get over some of my anxiety and self-esteem issues.”*

 

Keep an eye on your state of mind 

While anyone may struggle with their psychological wellbeing, it’s much more likely for people with long-term health conditions like Pso.7 Depression is common in people suffering from Pso.5 so watch out for the signs:8,9
•    Trouble sleeping 
•    Feeling sad or hopeless
•    Low energy
•    Loss of interest in hobbies 
•    Difficulty concentrating

If this sounds like you, please seek help. While it can be tricky to speak about your feelings, healthcare professionals such as GPs or specialist consultants will be able to offer you support or direct you to where you can access it.8
 

Almost 1/2 of GP appointments involve mental health10

 

These are the different types of therapy that you might come across


Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

CBT is a type of talking therapy, which focuses on how your thoughts and beliefs affect your feelings and behaviour.11 It uses certain tasks that help you identify any negative thoughts you might have, how they make you feel, why you have them, how realistic they are, what alternative thoughts may be more realistic, and how you feel after going through the task.11 Through tasks like these, CBT teaches you coping mechanisms to challenge any negative patterns of thinking and retrain yourself to think in a more rational way, interrupting the negative cycles of thinking that can cause people to feel depressed or anxious.11 Some of the tasks are done during the session, and some are done by yourself as ‘homework’.11


Interpersonal therapy (IPT)

IPT is a type of talking therapy for people with depression who may have difficulties in relating to or interacting with others.12 For example, someone with depression could benefit from IPT if they feel isolated because they have withdrawn from friends and family while their mood has been low.12 It helps people to recover by tackling difficult sources of tension in relationships such as conflict, life changes, grief or loss.12 By working through these and other aspects of relationships that are relevant to a person, people may find they become better at interacting with others and feel much better as a result.12


Counselling

Counselling is a type of talking therapy which helps people deal with many problems, including a range of mental health difficulties, physical health conditions, life events, emotions, or other issues.13 The core of counselling is listening to you talk about your difficulties without judging or criticising you, so the counsellor understands you better and can provide insight, as well as help you find your own solutions to problems.13

 

Connecting with others >



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*Representative of patient experience

1.    IFPA. Psoriasis is a serious disease deserving global attention. Available at: https://ifpa-pso.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Brochure-Psoriasis-is-a-serious-disease-deserving-global-attention.pdf Accessed: June 2020.
2.    Rapp SR, et al. J Am Acad Dermatol 1999;41:401–7.
3.    NHS. Living with psoriasis. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/psoriasis/living-with/ Accessed: June 2020.
4.    Griffiths CEM and Barker JNWN. Lancet 2007;370:263-71.
5.    Reich A, et al. Acta Derm Venereol 2010;90:257-63.
6.    Heller MM, et al. Skin Ther Letter 2011;16.
7.    Moon H-S, et al. Dermatol Ther 2013;3:117-30.
8.    NHS. Clinical depression. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/clinical-depression/symptoms/ Accessed: June 2020.
9.    MIND. Depression. Available at: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/depression/symptoms/ Accessed: June 2020.
10.    Pulse Today. Almost half of GP consultations ‘now include a mental health issue’. Available at: http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/clinical/clinical-specialties/mental-health/almost-half-of-gp-consultations-now-include-a-mental-health-issue/20036839.article Accessed: June 2020.
11.    NHS. CBT. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cognitive-behavioural-therapy-cbt/ Accessed: June 2020.
12.    Markowitz JC and Weissman MM. World Psych 2004;3(3):136-9.
13.    NHS. Counselling. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/counselling/ Accessed: June 2020.