When living with psoriasis, I truly believe it is vital for those closest to you to understand how you are feeling and how they can support you. For me, living with my parents and my older brother, I found on many occasions there have been times when I have had dark days and my family have supported me so much they have exhausted themselves. As much as I myself have learnt to live with my psoriasis, my family have also learnt how to cope. This may seem like an exaggerated statement, but in reality my family have a huge impact on making sure I can cope with my psoriasis in my day to day life.
When I was younger, I used to spend the whole night awake. I would scratch my skin until it was bleeding and get my head into a place where I would stress myself out. Throughout the night my parents would continually be awake to help me try to relax and give me reassurance - but the thing was, they were both working full time as well. As a family we spent many months doing trial and error to find the best ways for me to relax and treat my psoriasis. The majority of the time I was completely unaware of just how much time and effort my parents were putting in researching different ways they could help me.
To this day, when I talk about my psoriasis to people who aren’t fully aware of what it is or how difficult it can be, they have no idea how taking different treatments can cause many side effects. My parents worried so much about my fertility, skin cancer and the everyday side effects of treatments such as sickness and headaches. Throughout my whole journey living with psoriasis as a child, my parents had to take full responsibility for the decisions they made on made behalf, which as you can imagine put them under great stress!
Along with my parents, my grandparents have found it very hard not to be upset or feel guilty while watching me deal with my psoriasis. When you love someone and you watch them battle every day to cope to the best of their ability and try to succeed in life, it can hurt when you witness their weak moments, and this is often the feeling I know my grandparents have.
There are times when if my skin is very bad, my family feel hopeless as they know that it is out of their control and they see me suffer as a result.
I really do believe that psoriasis is a condition that you have to live with to completely understand just how exhausting it can be. The emotional high you get when it clears up and the low you can feel during a flare up - it can be a constant battle at times
Sometimes during life we can take things for granted, and although I know myself I have worked hard to deal with my psoriasis, I can often take for granted just how much I have been helped by my family. In my life there are times when I am conscious of my psoriasis - like when I’m swimming - and my mum will offer me reassurance. If my psoriasis is bad on my hands and someone may make a comment, my family will always jump to my defence and protect me. These are the simple behaviours that my family have learned to incorporate as a way of life to ensure I live well.
My psoriasis has taught me many things, but it has definitely made me appreciate the support network I have around me. The changes in my behaviour, my mood and my health have all impacted my family’s life at times, but they have continued to exhaust themselves in order for me to live well and for that I am truly grateful.
The most important thing they have taught me is how to make the best of a bad situation.
This content is not intended to advise you about your health. Always seek advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare professionals.
UK/IE MAT-02868. Date of Prep: April 2016