Research shows that 62% of psoriasis patients show symptoms of depression.
Depression is a product of our mind. It does not come from the outside, it a part of us. Same as psoriasis, but the difference is that psoriasis is a physical manifestation and depression is a psychological one. There is a clear link between the two. Psoriasis can put us in a state of feeling depressed and in the same time depression can cause psoriasis flaring. We can see by controlling depression we will have a positive impact on our psoriasis. It goes like a positive domino effect.
Psoriasis is a skin disorder, but for some of us, it can go deeper and impact our emotional health, too.
We live with psoriasis which is often very physically uncomfortable, limits physical activities and intimacy. Because of this we suffer from being stigmatized, bullied, and otherwise discriminated against.
This creates a high potential for anxiety and depression.
In this week’s blog post we will cover the topic on how to beat depression without use of medication. This is important not because we want to say that medication is bad, instead we believe that acting and being successful in battling depression without medication will have a larger positive effect on the patient’s overall condition.
Depressions can manifest itself in several forms, most common being:
- Lack of energy
- Constant sadness or anxiousness
- Lack of interest in work or things you used to enjoy
- Problems with falling asleep, followed by a morning feeling like you can’t get out of bed
- Feelings of hopelessness and underachievement
Depression can be a serious issue and it is not something we can easily just snap out of. It takes time and effort, and most of all, it is a roller coaster ride: good days will be followed by a bad day, but that will not stop us in our attitude that we can beat depression!
So let’s go through several actions on how to beat psoriasis without medication.
Let’s start by setting small improvement goals. When we are depressed, it feels like we can’t accomplish anything. Let’s start by changing that. Select 1 to maximum 3 things you would like to improve or change about your everyday life. Then plan how to change it day-by-day. Layout a plan. Don’t overdo it and plan too much. Just make small differences each day. Start with one week at a time and start small – that way you can build on simple accomplishments. Write it all out on a calendar, almost like an appointment.
Then a week will go by and you will immediately notice a change and will start to feel an accomplishment.
Here are several goals you can choose from and take it one step at a time:
- Create a routine
Decide what needs to be in your routine. Do you want to start the day by making your bed? Do you want to get more exercise, or you want more alone time? Then try to do that the first thing when you have the time for it. If you can it first thing in the morning, do it! You will have a feeling of accomplishment for the remainder of the day. If it is an outdoor activity that you want to do, just do it before or after work, but before coming back home from work. Most people won’t leave the comfort of their home once they come back from work.
And remember, you can do things to make it fun! Starting into a new routine isn’t always fun, but there are ways to make it fun. Find a workout buddy, get a good playlist for cleaning and try new cooking classes – anything to help you enjoy your new routine.
Prioritizing what is important to you before starting is key!
Did you break your routine for a day? No problem, just continue where you left off. Remember, routine is a marathon, not a sprint.
- Do something new.
When you’re depressed, you’re in a rut. Push yourself to do something different. Go to a museum. Pick up a used book and read it on a park bench. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Take a language class.
- Expose yourself to sunlight
Sunlight can boost mood and increase Vitamin D levels. If you live somewhere that gets little sun, invest in a therapeutic light box. UVA & UVB therapies have shown great improvement results with psoriasis patients.
- Eat healthy
There is no magic diet that fixes depression but eating healthier is important when suffering from psoriasis. Obesity is directly linked with psoriasis inflammation.
Every unit increase in body mass index (BMI), there is a 9 percent higher chance of developing the symptoms of psoriasis!
Need ideas on what to eat? Check our previous blog post on which foods to eat and which to avoid when you suffer from psoriasis: https://psoriasistreatments.net/weekly-psoriasis-focus-the-effect-of-nutrition-on-psoriasis/
- Stay Engaged
Another way that you might be able to help improve depressive symptoms is by staying engaged socially. Many people who experience depression withdraw from friends and family and shut themselves out. Maintaining these relationships and even expanding them can improve your overall mood. Similarly, staying socially stimulated by volunteering may be one of the best ways to fight depression through social engagement, and it is mutually beneficial as well.
- Challenge negative thoughts.
In your fight against depression, a lot of the work is mental — changing how you think. When you’re depressed, you leap to the worst possible conclusions.
The next time you’re feeling terrible about yourself, use logic as a natural depression treatment. You might feel like no one likes you, but is there real evidence for that? You might feel like the most worthless person on the planet, but is that really likely? It takes practice, but in time you can beat back those negative thoughts before they get out of control.
- Talk it out.
Talk to your family, your friends. See a therapist, psychiatrist, or life coach and express how you feel. Sometimes just finding someone you trust who will help you work through your feelings can make all the difference in the world.
There are many support groups on social media for patients with psoriasis. Don’t be afraid to share, we all experience the same things, others won’t judge you.
- Get enough sleep.
Depression can make it hard to get enough sleep, and too little sleep can make depression worse. What can you do? Start by making some changes to your lifestyle. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Try not to nap. Take all the distractions out of your bedroom, when you go to bed don’t take your smartphone or laptop with you. Shut your eyes and focus on your breathing.
- Take on responsibilities.
When you’re depressed, you may want to pull back from life and give up your responsibilities at home and at work. Don’t. Staying involved and having daily responsibilities can help you maintain a lifestyle that can help counter depression. They ground you and give you a sense of accomplishment.
If you’re not up to full-time school or work, that’s fine. Think about part-time. If that seems like too much, consider volunteer work.
Remember, psoriasis is part of us, but it does not define us. Each of us can become a beacon of happiness!