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Everyday Psoriasis

An honest collection of experiences, written and edited by those who live with psoriasis. Together, we want to raise awareness of this misunderstood condition and its impact on everyday life.

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Toby Hadoke

Mindful of my skin

A skin condition has nothing to do with the mind right? I mean, the brain and your skin don't even touch. It's like saying your head can fall off if you get a stomach upset.

Yes, of course being unsightly makes one self-conscious but everyone worries about their appearance - everyone thinks their bum/nose/ stomach is too big. Bad skin's no different.

Except that psoriasis is much more complicated than that. It's a skin condition that is the result of a deficiency of the immune system, but it is also exacerbated by stress. Of course, having the condition

is stressful in itself, so it provides its own succour. Seeing it start to make a battleground of your body inevitably induces anxiety, which acts as a fertiliser for it to take root.

I was always dubious about the stress thing. I was brought up to get on with things and not complain about things that can't be changed.

Yes, when my skin was bad there would be plenty of things that could make me unhappy: the unkind remark from a drunk walking past asking what that was all over my face; the casual cruelty of a “well I hope that's not catching” by

a stranger close enough to know I'd hear him; the unconscious flinch from a shopkeeper passing over change.

But it's not cancer. I have no right to feel wretched, I'd think, and the subsequent guilt only encouraged the smog of self-loathing to tighten its grip.

It was only when I became the beneficiary of dermopsychology

at The Royal Free Hospital that I came to understand my condition and that a good number of the traits that I tortured myself about - low selfesteem, fear of conflict, huge bouts of anxiety (I'm very much in the wonder-if-I've-left-the-oven-on-as-soonas- I-get-on-the-bus camp) … they are all common threads running through the psychology of your average psoriasis patient.

The unit deals with psoriasis sufferers by treating their minds rather than their bodies. The figures show that its success rate is extraordinary in terms of getting unemployed patients back to work and in many cases conquering the thing and keeping it at bay. We tend not to make a fuss - drawing attention to the blight is not exactly what we're used to doing. We cover blemishes rather than talk about them.

Preview ended

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front cover back cover

Toby Hadoke

Mindful of my skin

A skin condition has nothing to do with the mind right? I mean, the brain and your skin don't even touch. It's like saying your head can fall off if you get a stomach upset.

Yes, of course being unsightly makes one self-conscious but everyone worries about their appearance - everyone thinks their bum/nose/ stomach is too big. Bad skin's no different.

Except that psoriasis is much more complicated than that. It's a skin condition that is the result of a deficiency of the immune system, but it is also exacerbated by stress. Of course, having the condition is stressful in itself, so it provides its own succour. Seeing it start to make a battleground of your body inevitably induces anxiety, which acts as a fertiliser for it to take root.

I was always dubious about the stress thing. I was brought up to get on with things and not complain about things that can't be changed.

Yes, when my skin was bad there would be plenty of things that could make me unhappy: the unkind remark from a drunk walking past asking what that was all over my face; the casual cruelty of a “well I hope that's not catching” by a stranger close enough to know I'd hear him; the unconscious flinch from a shopkeeper passing over change.

But it's not cancer. I have no right to feel wretched, I'd think, and the subsequent guilt only encouraged the smog of self-loathing to tighten its grip.

It was only when I became the beneficiary of dermopsychology

at The Royal Free Hospital that I came to understand my condition and that a good number of the traits that I tortured myself about - low selfesteem, fear of conflict, huge bouts of anxiety (I'm very much in the wonder-if-I've-left-the-oven-on-as-soonas- I-get-on-the-bus camp) … they are all common threads running through the psychology of your average psoriasis patient.

The unit deals with psoriasis sufferers by treating their minds rather than their bodies. The figures show that its success rate is extraordinary in terms of getting unemployed patients back to work and in many cases conquering the thing and keeping it at bay. We tend not to make a fuss - drawing attention to the blight is not exactly what we're used to doing. We cover blemishes rather than talk about them.

Preview ended

For more stories, tips and advice, please click the download link to access your free Everyday Psoriasis eBook. To download the eBook to your smart phone, please visit the app store or Google Play store and follow the directions to download.

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