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Psoriasis and Depression

Although depression is not an inherent facet of psoriasis, people suffering from this disease are more likely to experience a depressive state than those who don’t. Negative emotions and depression can often be provoked by psoriasis emergence. In addition, some doctors believe that the biological changes that cause psoriasis symptoms can be the triggers of depression.

Depression often has a significant impact on the quality of everyone’s life. As for people suffering from psoriasis, they are more prone to suicidal thoughts. Some even attempt to commit suicide. Therefore, it is very important to monitor the symptoms of depression, seek help from a specialist and carry out necessary treatment.


Psoriasis and Depression

Psoriasis can trigger anxiety and depression

If you have psoriasis, your symptoms can be noticed by others. Not everyone will pay attention to your condition or ask impolite questions, but some people’s ignorance can bring stress.

Everyone knows that nervous tension and stress can lead to serious consequences. They are especially dangerous for people with psoriasis And for a person with a chronic illness such as psoriasis, they are especially dangerous. Stress not only worsens the symptoms of the disease, it can also cause problems with mental health.

People suffering from psoriasis often experience anxiety. They are worried about what others may think about them. How to overcome the depression caused by psoriasis?

People with psoriasis are twice as likely to develop depression as those who do not have this disease

In August 2015, there was conducted a study where more than 12,000 adults participated. According to the results, about 8% of the participants indicated that they suffer from depression. But, when only people suffering from psoriasis were taken into account, this number jumped to 16.5%.


Symptoms of Depression

Symptoms of mental health problems are not always easy to determine. This problem becomes even more difficult when depression is triggered by a physical illness, in particular, psoriasis. This is because the changes in the physical condition of a person from healthy to unhealthy are often gradual.

Slow changes are more difficult to notice. Your current psycho-emotional condition may seem normal to you only because you are used to it.

To cope with the negative effects of psoriasis, follow the changes in your mental health. Keep a record of how you felt before, during and after you were diagnosed with psoriasis. Consult your doctor or talk to the relatives you trust to find or exclude signs of depression and anxiety.

Understanding that people with psoriasis have a higher risk of depression and being aware of their symptoms can greatly help you. Take time to learn about the main signs of depression. If you start noticing any of them, be sure to see a doctor. Without considering depression as a problem that needs to be eliminated, you can worsen the state of your mental health.

The symptoms of depression include:

  • constant sadness
  • hopelessness or feeling doomed
  • helplessness or guilt
  • loss of interest for the things that were exciting before, in particular hobbies
  • fatigue, low energy and motivation
  • inability to concentrate
  • irritability and anxiety
  • problems with sleep
  • increase or decrease in appetite
  • thoughts of suicide

In addition to mental health problems in the form of depression, you may have such signs as excessive anxiety, fear, a feeling of tension and negative thoughts that move quickly and incessantly  in your mind.

Definition and recognition of depression

It is very important to identify and accept depression. The latter can be managed only if you accept the fact that such a psychological problem really exists in your life. 
This is why you need to pay attention to the following things:

Your energy level

Fatigue is a common symptom of psoriasis, especially psoriatic arthritis. At the same time, it can be a sign of depression. If you have recently felt more tired than usual, this does not necessarily mean that you are depressed. Nevertheless, this knowledge encourages you to be more vigilant to any other warning signs.

Your mood is worse than usual

Depression causes mood swings, including unexplained sadness. If you are depressed, you may have irritability, feelings of guilt and hopelessness. Many people who are depressed, this condition is difficult to diagnose, because they suffer from sudden outbursts of rage. Such mood swings can also be associated with depression. If you have psoriasis and recently you are experiencing an inexplicable anger - this can be a good reason to consult a therapist.

Loss of interest in their favorite activities

Depression reduces the level of joy you received from certain things and activities before. If you have recently felt less motivated to do something that was interesting to you or changed your hobbies to more motionless kinds of pastime (surfing the Internet for a long time instead of doing sports or meeting friends), depression can be the culprit of it all.

Deterioration of physical well-being

Depression can cause painful sensations that do not have an obvious cause. If you experience headaches, digestive problems, muscle pain, or weight gain, these symptoms may indicate depression. In addition, your psoriasis symptoms may increase in their severity.

Problems with sleep

One of the biggest indicators of depression is changes in the amount of sleep and how well you sleep. People with depression tend to either sleep too much or suffer from insomnia. If you fall asleep and wake up at different time of the day, it's not easy for you to get out of bed or fall asleep, it can be caused by depression. It should be kept in mind that psoriasis can cause sleep problems even in people who do not suffer form depression. 


What can you do about this?

✔ Manage the symptoms of psoriasis

It is very important to look for the most appropriate ways to treat psoriasis in order to control its symptoms. According to some studies, those who use effective methods for controlling psoriasis indicate that their quality of life improved. 
Improving your physical condition and reducing the symptoms of the disease is the best way to overcome depression in psoriasis. If you achieve a remission, there is a good chance that depression will no longer be your problem.

✔ Think about your thinking

Psoriasis can change the way you see yourself. Instead of perceiving yourself as a healthy, capable person, you start feeling broken and intimidated. 
Unfortunately, such a perception of reality will only lead to a worsening of depression and anxiety. If you want to change how you feel, you should change the way you think. Instead of focusing on negativity, pay attention to who you are, in addition to your diagnosis. You are not your disease. You are a fully functional multifunctional individual with psoriasis symptoms.
Spend your time and energy on re-discovering yourself and finding out your interests. This will reduce the impact of your illness on mental health and increase your self-esteem.

✔ Follow proper nutrition

In addition to psoriasis and nutrition being interrelated, a properly selected diet can help fight the depression caused by this autoimmune disease. In addition, proper and balanced diet will help prevent other health problems that can aggravate your condition. Increase the consumption of fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grain products. Avoid foods that can cause inflammation.
Besides, proper nutrition in psoriasis will help you maintain a healthy weight, which can reduce the severity of psoriatic arthritis.

✔ Stay active

Exercises reduce inflammation, preserve joint health and help fight depression. Strive to dedicate at least 180 minutes a week to physical exercises. The exercises that require significant energy costs, in particular running and training in the gym. But even a static exercise will benefit your body and your mind.

✔ Spend time with friends and family

Social support is one of the most important keys to maintaining good mental health. The power of supporting close people can help you overcome health crises and maintain a positive outlook on life. At the same time, isolation increases anxiety and depression. Another good way to expand the boundaries of communication and get acquainted with new people is to visit a group of psychological support.

✔ Express your emotions through creative hobbies

Creative expression of emotions is useful for your body and mind. It helps us feel happier, reduces stress and helps fight depression, which in turn leads to better sleep and overall well-being. You do not have to be a skilled artist to show your creativity. Try to do what you like. You can write, draw, play a musical instrument or enroll in a dance school. Diving in a hobby can also distract you from pain and fatigue.

✔ See a psychotherapist

If you actively fight depression, or just try to stop its development, psychotherapy should be an integral part of your treatment plan. The doctor will help you find constructive ways to deal with the emotional aspects of a disease such as psoriasis. It is advisable to seek a psychotherapist who has experience working with people suffering from chronic diseases.

✔ Protect yourself

Create an inner shield that will protect you from the ignorance of others. Remember, the fact that you have psoriasis does not define you as a person. Inform people who are concerned about your condition that psoriasis is not a contagious disease.

✔ Reduce stress level

Nervous stress and stress accompanying anxiety have a negative impact on your general well-being. In order to regain your balance, try using relaxation techniques like deep breathing, yoga,  meditation, progressive muscle relaxation or autogenic training.

✔ Remember about the importance of sleep

You need to get proper sleep, but not too much and not too little. When people become depressed, they often want to spend all day in bed, which is not very productive. But if you don’t get enough sleep, you can easily become depressed, due to overwork.
Will not hurt a little sun
It is necessary to spend time outdoors, even on a cloudy day. Light therapy is useful not only for the treatment of psoriasis but also for improving mood. But if you are going to be in the sun for more than 15-20 minutes, be sure to apply sunscreen to protect yourself from skin cancer.

✔ A little sunlight will do good 
It“s important that a you spend much time outside even if there is cloudy and overcast. Light therapy is useful not only for psoriasis treatment but also for mood uplifting. But if you“re going to be under sunlight more than 15-20 minutes, be certain to apply sun protection cream so as to prevent skin cancer. 
Fighting the emotional and physical effects that psoriasis produces requires a lot of effort. But you can develop a positive attitude to the situation, instead of concentrating on your illness. By focusing on what you can do, you will be able to better cope with depression and reduce the symptoms of psoriasis.

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