Mental Health and Psoriasis

Common Mental Health Issues Associated with Psoriasis

Psoriasis is an increasingly common immune disorder of the skin that can have a wide range of effects throughout the body. Occurring due to a mistaken identification of normal skin cells as pathogens, psoriasis has been linked through comorbidity with inflammation, depression, strokes, and a range of physiological and psychological disorders. Here is a discussion of some of the most common mental health issues frequently associated with psoriasis.

Depression

This is one of the most common psychological disorders in the United States, affecting millions of people per year. What surprises many people who suffer from psoriasis is that the disorder also plays a significant role in comorbidity with psoriasis. In other words, if you suffer from psoriasis, you have a significantly higher likelihood of suffering from extreme sadness at the same time.

The reasons behind the relationship between psoriasis and this disorder are complex and not fully understood. However, it is thought that the nature of psoriasis, in terms of the pain and irritation it produces in those afflicted with it, may serve to lower the levels of happiness and life satisfaction of sufferers, increasing their risks of developing clinical psychological symptoms.

Social Isolation

Social isolation is another mental health issue that has an increased likelihood of occurring in people who are already suffering from psoriasis. The reasons behind social isolation are related to those behind depression because psoriasis tends to lead to greater levels of self-consciousness. This makes sense when one considers the rather apparent physical discrepancies that occur with psoriasis.

Mental Health and Psoriasis

As a result, it is more likely that people suffering with psoriasis are likely to develop poor self-image due to fears of being rejected by people in public. Similarly, psychosexual concerns are likely to be present due to the fears of appearing unusual in physically intimate situations. This psychological distress can make people with psoriasis want to stay away from others in order to reduce their odds of encountering embarrassing or potentially distressing social situations.

Anxiety

Anxiety, much like clinical sadness and isolation from social situations, is more likely to affect people with psoriasis than it is to affect people in everyday life. As discussed above, fears of impaired social interactions, embarrassment, or other problems in interpersonal relations can lead to mental health issues.

People with psoriasis, for example, may have plaques on their feet and hands. These plaque buildups can make it more difficult for people with psoriasis to attend to certain jobs or play certain sports. It can also make it tougher for these individuals to help care for family members or keep up a home.

Any of these restrictions by themselves could reduce a person's likelihood to engage in social interactions. However, when they are all combined together, the results can be dramatic in increasing anxiety levels. When people have plaques on their scalps, they are particularly likely to be embarrassed, as plaque located in the skin of the head is easy to confuse with dandruff.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is important to look into not only physiological treatment for psoriasis but psychological approaches to deal with the emotional concerns associated with the disorder. While the physical manifestations of psoriasis may be noticed more easily than the psychological ones, attending to both is essential in order to increase the odds of long term recovery.

Fortunately, there are a number of methods to increase psychological happiness even when suffering from psoriasis, including cognitive behavioral therapy, exercise, and other forms of talk therapy and behavioral approaches. It is important not to let the mental health concerns of psoriasis keep one from living a full life.