EMOTIONAL SUPPORT IN SKIN DISORDERS
Our physical health is closely associated with our mental wellbeing. People with skin issues run a high risk of psychological problems. As skin problems are so obvious to many outwardly, it’s not shocking that those who suffer can also experience shame and psychological distress, and even after the skin gets better they will stay. That’s in addition to potential physical pain that skin conditions can cause. What is less well known is that stress, anxiety, and emotional distress can appear on the skin, and can intensify an established condition. This may prevent them from engaging entirely, or at all, in social, recreational, or job activities.
The emotional impact of skin problem:
• One of the major consequences of chronic skin conditions is severe depression.
• Further consequences are suicidal thoughts.
• Certain psychosocial side effects of skin conditions include social withdrawal, anger, frustration, and lack of confidence.
• Children suffering from skin disorders too. Of those children, two out of five have some psychosocial impairment.
• Twenty-six percent of the population with moderate to severe psoriasis was required to change or stop their normal daily activities.
• Acne-stricken people face higher unemployment rates than the general population.
• In a 2014 National Rosacea Society survey of 1,675 rosacea patients, a disorder that triggers facial redness and associated symptoms, 90 % of respondents reported a decline in self-esteem and self-confidence, 54% reported anxiety and helplessness, and 43% reported depression, for instance. Over half said that they had avoided face-to-face contact.
Role of Psychodermatology in skin disease
These days, dermatologists are much more accepting of the field now known as Psychodermatology. Psychodermatology is the use of psychological and psychiatric methods to treat skin conditions by analyzing the relationship between the mind and skin. Psychodermatology is especially helpful in eradicating the psychological wounds caused by skin disorders. Psychologists became more involved in helping people suffering from skin disease. They examine the role of stress and other psychological problems in acne, psoriasis, eczema, itching, hives, and other skin issues. They cope with social anxiety, depression, and other psychological issues that can occur in people who have skin problems.
Techniques and resources in Psychodermatology may include:
• Mindfulness – Reducing stress or anxiety in skin disease patients; it may be general mindfulness, intended to reduce stress or mindfulness targeted to particular conditions like psoriasis.
• Habit reversal – Some conditions can lead to unhealthy repetitive behaviors, including scratching or skin picking. Habit reversal explores whether such behaviors can be minimized or broken.
• Relationships – Relationships are fundamental to our lives, whether platonic or sexual. Living with a skin disorder can also make it difficult to establish new relationships. Psychodermatology can help create trust and resolve social anxiety, and offer practical advice on the subject.
Anxiety, stress, and depression:
The method of coping with these issues is to be able to identify the issues you have. It is easier to deal with it without judgment once you have identified the issue. You may be able to do so by talking to a friend or health care provider, you may find that mindfulness and meditation help you become more self-conscious of your problems, or you may teach yourself to identify and avoid negative thinking. If you believe your level of anxiety, stress or depression is debilitating and you are at risk of harming yourself or others then you should seek medical assistance as a matter of urgency. There are a variety of common approaches that people use to relieve the anxiety that can also have a long-term negative effect. Sometimes these are short-term solutions that do not solve the underlying emotional problem.
It is important to keep an eye out of ourselves for these behaviors
• Evade social situations
• Just go out with others
• Disguise tactics
• Prevent eye contact or talks
Recognizing these negative thoughts or actions and replacing them with logical solutions is the secret to resolving social anxiety and increasing self-confidence.
Meditation and mindfulness:
Mindfulness means a state of mind in which we pay careful attention to the present moment the outside world around you, your inner thoughts and emotions, and your physical sensations. At the moment, it’s about being present, recognizing-but not judging or attempting to change how you feel. Mindfulness can be used to help us recognize problems that may otherwise go unnoticed, such as stress, without judgment.
Meditation is when we practice calm sitting, concentrating our thoughts, emotions, and feelings. Meditation is basically an activity in mindfulness that can be carried out to facilitate self-awareness, relaxation, and happiness. Many research on the efficacy of mindfulness have been done, some of the main areas that have been shown to benefit include-
• Less focus on the negative things in life
• Reduces stress
• The fulfillment of relationships
• Cognitive versatility, or flexible thinking
• Reduced emotional awareness
Exercise and staying active:
Staying active when dealing with the emotional effects of a health problem is a common and successful coping technique. We can improve our mood by staying active, and find more meaning and purpose in life. Staying active may imply different things for different individuals, it can mean engaging in physical exercise, having time to take up hobbies, or enjoying time with friends and relatives.
How exercise can affect the mood- exercise is incredibly necessary to keep our body healthy, but it can also influence the mind and our overall wellness. Lack of physical activity can have a negative effect on mental health and in certain cases leading to a negative cycle of fatigue, anxiety, or depression, and doing less.
Benefits of exercise are followed:-
• More probably feeling positive about oneself
• Help to focus and concentrate better
• Less prone to depression, anxiety or stress
• Improve sleep
• Eventually less probable to have memory and dementia issues.
• Better likely to remain mobile and independent as you get older
• Can cope with the withdrawal symptoms of abandoning habits like smoking, alcohol
Self-medication with Alcohol:
Through short-term alcohol causes serotonin to be released and makes us feel good. In the long-term alcohol, however, is a depressant that can leave us with lower serotonin levels, which generally lower mood. Besides that, chronic high consumption of alcohol may have significant health implications. A method of escapism may be to use alcohol as a coping mechanism. This helps us to forget our problems quickly, without trying to fix our problems or even analyze them. Self-medication with alcohol is a bad coping strategy and also has a negative impact on certain skin conditions and general skin health.
Social anxiety, shyness, social isolation, and self-confidence:
Shyness and social anxiety are popular among individuals suffering from skin problems. Such words apply to mild fear or tension on the prospect of social contact, which can be extremely crippling, leading to social isolation which works and relationship difficulties. Social isolation can cause low mood symptoms in the long term, feelings of loneliness, and even raise anxiety. There are steps we should take to solve this for those of us who are self-imposed on social isolation. There are activities that we should do to resolve social anxiety and social isolation in turn. Key to this understands our isolation, what social opportunities we miss, why we miss them, and the intensity of our anxiety in these social situations. Self-confidence is crucial to minimizing anxiety and shyness; if you can boost your level of confidence it will be of immense benefit to your overall emotional health. The best approach for that is to begin to recognize the negative thoughts that evoke feelings of doubt, anxiety, and timidity. When you understand these negative emotions, questioning them is easier.
Sleep and skin:
Sleep issues in people with health problems are normal and skin disorders are no different. Long-term sleep problems are typically described as insomnia. We do not have a firm guide on what is perceived to be ‘enough’ sleep. Four hours may be enough for some people each night, and they may require 10 or more hours for another human. There’s a major difference from person to person; factors that can influence how much people need to sleep include age, fitness, and how much exercise you’re doing. Other considerations may include levels of weight, diet, alcohol consumption, and stress. Sleep problems are complicated and it’s not always easy to solve them. It is necessary to stay healthy, take care of yourself, learn to relax (meditation and mindfulness), practice good ‘sleep hygiene’.
Trying to care for somebody with skin disease can be quite difficult and the emotional effect could be important on both the carer and the person they support. To be a carer is always a big responsibility, especially as the people that we care about often have some form of illness or illness. It is crucial that we understand what our position means, and that we manage our own levels of stress and mental health. A good starting point is to communicate with the person you care for, to make sure you understand how they think you can best help them, so there are no misunderstandings. A significant aspect of this is to learn what you can about the person you are caring for about skin disease. When you understand the condition properly, you should keep a close eye out for possible causes, or flare-ups that can make the condition even worse. Carers can also be crucial to ensuring that the individuals they care about stick to their treatments. It is also necessary to develop an understanding of the available treatment pathways.
Caring for Children:
Caring for children with skin diseases can be extremely challenging; there are particular difficulties such as ensuring that their condition is handled at school, dealing with their peers’ possible judgment or bullying, and ensuring that their skin condition prohibits them from engaging in the activities they enjoy.
Advise when they’re feeling insecure:-
• Let your child know that getting a skin disease is a very common thing. Understanding that they are not alone is a vital part of their mental wellbeing and self-confidence.
• Encourage your child to surround himself with family and supportive peers.
• Remind your child of their talents and abilities, which make them self confident.
Psychological support from the doctor:
Whether you’re seeing your local nurse, Doctor, dermatologist, psychologist, or psychiatrist, it’s worth taking the time to think about how you can get the best out of your time with your healthcare provider. This is particularly true of people who consider medical consultations a source of anxiety. This may be useful to write down your major problems, points, and queries in advance of your consultation, so you will be able to cover everything you wished within the time allocated for your consultation. It may also be worth getting a pen and paper to ensure you remember the answers to the questions. Whether it makes you feel much better, you may be accompanied by somebody to the meeting.
Researchers have consistently shown the benefits of psychodermatology, for example, one study in 2014 * found that 94% reported reduced stress among patients who completed psychodermatology therapy, 92% reported improved confidence, and 90% reported a greater understanding of their skin condition.