It is quite common for individuals with chronic diseases to suffer from depression. The long-term pain and discomfort endured by those who have chronic disease can seem never-ending. Psoriasis is a disease that has an impact on the image because it is a very visible disease. Your skin is the largest organ of your body and what people look at first, when they meet you.
People tend to make judgments about your looks that determine how they treat you. A skin disease can make you feel isolated from others, embarrassed and anxious. Depression is a common result of the feelings stirred up by how others see the individual with psoriasis.
There ways to handle depression so that the psoriasis does not have to stop you from being able to function in society.
Steps to Take
The important first step to take is to consult with a doctor and ask questions about how you are feeling.
You can head off thoughts of depression if you can first recognize what they are:
Statements that are negative about your self-image, your skin, or how others see you.
Saying that you have no control over your life
The next step is to address your depression and make it part of your treatment plan. This way a professional can monitor it.
Examine your thought patterns for negativity
Individuals in depression often “catastrophize”, which means they make things seem a lot worse than they really are; including the condition of their skin.
Taking the focus off of the skin and onto keeping busy with activities and making plans to stay active at work, play, and school will give less time for negative thoughts that fuel depression.
Depression can be treated with medications and psychotherapy. Once coping skills are learned and applied, life seems better and less depressing.
A mirror is an excellent depression-blocking tool. Standing in front of the mirror and listing all of the good qualities and accomplishments that you know to be true about yourself reminds you that there is more to “you” than your skin. Seeing the total you, get the focus off your skin and onto the deeper identity that others will soon see too.
Recognize the actions of depression and try to catch yourself in time to reverse the action into a positive one such as: slouching is what I do in school when I am depressed about my skin…. when I catch myself beginning to slouch, I can think of something good about myself and sit back up.
Behavior can send signals to your brain. If you are acting depressed your brain will monitor the actions and interpret the actions and determine that you are depressed. By changing your behavior your brain will get messages that speak of positive body posture and positive body image like self-confidence and pride.
One tool for monitoring your body language is to imagine that someone you care about or value his or her opinion is watching you and making a movie of your daily actions. Be sure to act in a way that will make them proud of you as you go about your day. Do this on a daily basis and soon your actions will come automatic and will help to make your depression dissipate.
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