My Psoriasis

There’s a huge amount of illnesses nowadays that are classed as an autoimmune disease.  An autoimmune is an illness that occurs when the body’s tissues are attacked by its own immune system…  (The body goes haywire).

There are over 80 autoimmune diseases…  Psoriasis is just one of these…  It’s not contagious but can be very uncomfortable, itchy and very unsightly for the sufferer… It doesn’t just affect a person outwardly…  The scars go so much deeper.

I too am a psoriasis sufferer.  I remember feeling embarrassed…  Ashamed and any confidence i had seemed to evaporate overnight… I felt like everyone was better than me, regardless of their looks or size… To me they had lovely clear skin…  That’s all that mattered.

I felt unlovable… Ugly and flawed because it looked so unsightly. My anxiety at the time was through the roof. Afraid people would see and judge me.

Well, when i was around  14  i had my very first flare up of psoriasis.  My parents divorced…  Even though outwardly i seemed fine…  My skin was telling me a whole different story.  It wasn’t a gradual thing either…  Bang…  There it was… Almost overnight in fact.  The constant itching would drive me nuts… The terribly dry flaky skin would form thick crusts and once you scratched…  Would bleed…  Crack and become really sore and uncomfortable…  My life became a nightmare.

Being a teenager  was really tough…  I hated the flakes. I hated the way I looked. I felt very self conscious and couldn’t wear dark clothes as i would flake and shed everywhere…  I looked like i had really bad dandruff…  It was even in my hair…  I felt like a leper as people would look and stare…    I hated it!

I’d really hit rock bottom with my confidence… As for my self esteem…  That was non existent. 

I have one very dear friend that would often ask me what it was that was worrying me to make my skin react like it did…  Well that really was the 64 million dollar question…  If i’d known i would have switched the damn thing off!

The doctor gave me this really smelly thick coal tar cream to apply at night. It would stain all of my nightclothes & bedding…  I even had to wear socks to bed.  I had another cream to apply for the day and an oil for the bath which would leave a thick ring of grease on the inside of the bath which i had to scrub off every time.  It was a pain… I felt greasy.  The only thing that happened was the psoriasis would go bright red after any application…  I looked like I’d been burnt…  God forbid,  someone might see or notice it!

I was literally covered so this routine would take me ages… Every day and night…  I tried loads of different creams…  One was a roll on that i applied…  It was so strong it burnt my skin which left me with bright red tram lines up and down my body…  This went on for around 10-15 years .

I’d have my good days and bad .

Being a teenager of around 18 i went to the local pubs and clubs.  All the girls would have their legs and arms showing…  Especially in the summer… With their lovely dresses but hey,  not me…  I’d be covered from head to foot… I’d be wearing long sleeves with thick woolly tights or trousers… Always and all year round…  I just wanted to be like everyone else… To fit in… I’m talking about the 1980’s…  We had no internet… No google so i really had no idea on what i was dealing with and quite frankly neither did anyone of my friends so they would ask lots of questions. Usually ‘are you contagious”! It really was an awful time looking back, I felt like a freak!

There were no support networks or information like we have today.  The doctors weren’t very helpful,  they’d just send me on my way with yet another prescription. I’d never heard of it let alone be able to spell it!…  All i knew was that I wasn’t contagious.  I didn’t know anyone with this awful skin condition either so it really was trial and error.  To be honest i always felt like a bit of a leper,  people would stare which didn’t help at all.  I was heartbroken!

I’m in my 50’s now with a family of my own.  I’ve managed to turn my life around, i changed my diet, lifestyle and  calm down. I’ve actually had one huge flare up in about 25 years…  I used the wrong fabric softener…  I was covered within 3 days.

I hadn’t been living in Australia long & thinking back the move probably didn’t help either.  We’d recently moved to Australia from the UK so i didn’t know the products as it’s totally different brands here and the stress of the move wouldn’t have helped either.  My husband didn’t know what to do with me as he’d never seen me like it.  I just freaked and didn’t know what i’d done to trigger the flare up either…  It was full on too. within 3 days i was covered .

In an instant my nightmare had returned… That monster in me had risen its ugly head again…  Rather spectacularly too i might add.  Overnight i turned into that insecure 14 year old teenager again…  I couldn’t stop crying…  I suddenly became that confused, teary young girl…  Every time i looked in the mirror…  There it was… My anxiety and stress levels went through the roof!

Its funny.  For all the bravado we show to the world. Underneath our true character still lingers…  Those demons still lie dormant. It took me a good 9 months to get everything under control again.

I went to see 3 different doctors  as they kept telling me it was a virus… (I knew different of course).  I was given Dovonex cream as that’s what helped me years ago…  Along with the sun of course…  That vitamin D does the trick every time. (Thank you Australia)!

I know Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease and one of the triggers is stress. The thing i had to learn to do was to accept that it was a part of me .

I remember years ago i went to the local swimming pool with a friend,  she told me to just ignore everyone and to relax…  I knew people were staring  at me but i remember thinking ‘Stuff them”…  It took a lot of courage on my part but i remember it so well.  My friend could be quite outspoken at times so i knew she had my back if anyone said anything…  I suppose i felt safe with her?

Once i started to relax and accept things as they were the psoriasis started to clear.  I was amazed & over the moon of course.  That’s when things really started to turn for me.  It’s not an easy thing to do but our minds are so powerful. It’s the control tower of everything that goes on in our bodies…  The brain is the hub of everything really.

I’m a hypnotherapist… Hypnotherapy is a fabulous tool for stress and anxiety. I know… It’s helped me immensely.  That and diet… Control your mind…  Flick back that switch and you get to choose how you live your life .

Acceptance really is the first step. I know first hand. I’ve been there, believe me,   I never want to go there again.

I’ve since learned that any  sufferer with psoriasis believes that they will never get rid of it.  It’s  these feelings and beliefs that maintain and hamper any recovery…   Removal of these beliefs is paramount to achieving a successful outcome.

Psoriasis and other autoimmune diseases can be triggered by trauma and stress,  by using hypnotherapy we can create a change in their beliefs and feelings from a subconscious level .

An example would be if you were to become embarrassed the skin on your face would go red with the increased blood flow which is created from the subconscious mind…  If i asked you to do this with your conscious mind you couldn’t do it.

Our minds are a bit like an iceberg…  We are only aware of the part that’s above the water, the (conscious mind)…  The visual part… This really is just a small percentage of what’s really lingering underneath which is our (subconscious mind) .

If reading this gives one person any comfort and hope then i’m happy…  Don’t ever feel like your alone…  There’s always someone like me out there ready to listen and help… You can create your new future…  Just don’t give up and believe that you are worth it .