Leading psychologist highlights need for more support for those living with psoriasis

Author: Dr Linda Papadopolous

Date: May 2012

Leading psychologist highlights need for more support for those living with psoriasis.

Results of a recent survey revealing that 94 percent of GPs don't have sufficient time to ask psoriasis sufferers what impact the condition is having on a patient's life, are worrying according to leading psychologist and prolific academic author, Dr Linda Papadopolous.

According to Dr Linda the psychological impact of psoriasis is severely overlooked, and the estimation that a diagnosis of psoriasis may claim the lives of 350 sufferers each year through suicide, has led to Dr Linda calling for additional help and information to support those living with this debilitating condition.

Dr Linda explains: "Anyone living with psoriasis - either themselves or through a loved one - will know how challenging it can be living with the physical and social impact of the condition. Psoriasis can have a negative effect on all aspects of life, leading to relationship problems, work problems, social isolation and in some cases resulting in depression. In fact, the impact of psoriasis upon both physical and emotional functioning can be comparable to that seen in cancer, arthritis, hypertension, heart disease or diabetes."

Often appearing as red scaly patches on the skin, psoriasis can leave sufferers with low self-esteem and depression. In a recent survey 78 percent of females surveyed felt that psoriasis had most impacted their confidence and 30 percent of males stated that it has had an impact upon their relationships.

Psoriasis sufferer Nick, 40 from Basingstoke says: "In my early twenty's with psoriasis at its worst trying to develop a relationship felt impossible as at the time I could not look at my own body and whenever I got even close to a relationship with the opposite sex, the fear of having to show my body to another person was so overwhelming I would reject any chance of a relationship."

Dr Linda welcomes a new website which offers tips and advice on how to deal with the emotional impact of psoriasis. It includes tips on establishing open and honest relationships with friends and partners, open dialog with work colleagues for a more comfortable working environment, to how to deal with the often difficult and sometimes embarrassing area of sex and relationships.

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Last revised: 23 March 2017

Next review: 23 March 2020