The effects of Psoriasis on mental health
We are now averaging almost one-third of people suffer on a scale from having mild to severe psoriasis. Whilst this skin disease is well known and we know the effects this has physically on the body, I believe we need more support around the mental illness this can inflict on the people suffering.
Statistics show that people living with psoriasis are twice as likely to be depressed as those who don’t have it even with mild symptoms. Research also shows that 1 in 10 sufferers contemplate suicide which is a scary statistic considering many think of this disease as something that ‘just’ effects the skin.
Psoriasis effects brain chemicals
There has also been research into how psoriasis effects brain cells. The people who live with this disease release a substance called cytokines, this substance not only makes skin cells grow out of control causing scaly plaques, but it can also change the level of chemicals in your brain that then effect your mood.
There are many factors into why psoriasis has such a great impact on an individual’s mood. One of these being that people have felt rejection at times due to people believing that it could be contagious, therefore making them feel very unwanted and sometimes isolated from society.
It’s crucial that we are bringing awareness to this auto immune disease and are able to recognise the signs of mental illness within anyone who may be suffering.
A company making a difference; 3 apps helping with psoriasis
Happify Health – Kopa for Psoriasis
Fortunately, there are companies out there that are recognising the gap in the market for helping support this issue, such as Happify Health, a US based mental health and wellness company that has recently launched an app called ‘Kopa’ available both on App and Play stores today. The app is particularly focusing on supporting people with psoriasis and providing a platform for open discussions with other psoriasis sufferers, patient advocates and medical professionals within a safe environment. It also helps people manage their disease journey and includes education around treatment options and flare ups.
This particular app helps track and manage your disease, sometimes its difficult to monitor your psoriasis and when your flare ups tend to happen, especially when trying to showcase this to your GP. Using this app prompts you once a week to take photos of your skin and asks you to rate your discomfort on a scale of 1-10. Overtime, it shows how your symptoms have chance and gives valuable feedback.
Flaym is more a networking app filled with a newsfeed of posts both from other users and the Flaym team that you can interact with as much as you like. If you preferred to stay anonymous, that is fine also! But here you can gain some valuable information on how to manage the disease, and also talk to people who are going through possibly the same feelings that you are. A great reminder to know you are not alone and help eliminate any feeling of isolation. Also available on the apple store and google play.
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