What You Should Know About Eczema & Mental Health
“Please understand that taking [said medicine] may come with severe side effects such as skin cancer or even infertility. Due to this, we always ask our patients to sign a steroid medical consent form. In addition, you will need to follow the strict directions on the print out we’ve provided for you,” stated by my Manhattan Dermatologist.
Yes, this really happened and to be perfectly honest I didn’t even care at the time. I just remember being extremely desperate as my skin was to the point of no return. Or so I thought. Sadly, this wasn’t the first time I’d be told something serious or signed a form in regards to my eczema. There were numerous trials for drugs that weren’t on the market yet, a scam dermatologist who took a sample of my skin to test me for….SKIN CANCER (a costly procedure that my insurance didn’t want to cover fully), an allergy test with 100 patches, wrapping myself up like a mummy and so much more. Lets just put it this way, I’ve been through a lot with this condition and after blogging for a few years I realize I’m not the only one.
Anyone that has a chronic condition understands this life all too well. It’s very difficult to navigate your skin. One of the worst things about having eczema itself isn’t the condition, but the lack of control. With eczema, every day is like a playing game of clue that you never signed up for. You just have to live cautiously as you try and figure out what caused your flare up. It’s a vicious cycle.
I’m always hesitant to talk about mental health. Especially due to the recent tragedies, but yesterday I read an article that was jarring! A 23-year-old nursing student from Hong Kong brutally attacked and stabbed her parents to death and then committed suicide. She left messages on a forum which included;
People with eczema giving birth to kids are worse than poor people giving birth to kids, the post reads. If you’re poor, you can rely on your own hard work. With eczema, sorry, you have to suffer (your whole life) with no change.
…There’s nothing you can do except to wait and die,” and that her “social life (was) all gone.
The consensus is that she was suffering from the side effects due to her prescribed steroids medication. Either way, there was clearly a lot more going on then we will ever know. Sadly, this was one of the darkest stories I’ve read surrounding to eczema. It reminds me of another story about a 23-year-old who committed suicide in which the claim might have been due to his steroid usage. Which is why I wanted to touch on mental health.
*Here’s What You Should Know About Eczema And Mental Health
(Can be applied to most chronic skin conditions, as well)
- There is a social stigma that comes with having a skin condition – due to the visibility
- Eczema affects relationships
- May develop an obsessive compulsive disorder such as skin-picking disorder
- Those with skin problems have a greater risk of developing psychological problems
- Skin disorders have a tendency to cause psychological distress
- Skin conditions are menacing
- If you have a chronicle skin disorder – you’re likely to suffer a bout of major depression
- According to statistics, suicidal thoughts are increased in those that have chronic skin conditions – compared to the general population
- Social withdrawal is a very common side effect – may be due to lack of confidence and frustration etc.
- Severe skin problems can lead to a disturbance in activities – causing you to quit altogether
- Kids with skin conditions are likely to suffer psychosocial impairment
- Sometimes those with mild symptoms may suffer worse than those severe symptoms – it boils down to your perception
- There is such thing as skin PTSD, even if your skin clears up
This was taken from two different studies (sources can be found below). Please know that the reason for posting this is to alert those that may or are going through this. I would never give advice on such a serious subject, but I can post links which go into depth if you or someone you know suffers from depression or suicidal thoughts.
Suicide Prevention: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/suicide-prevention/suicide-prevention.htm
Eczema and Mental Health Sources: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/skin-deep/201001/the-emotional-impact-skin-problems
Featured Article Sources: https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/20/asia/hong-kong-eczema-double-murder-suicide-intl/index.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=twCNN&utm_term=image&utm_content=2018-06-20T08%3A38%3A00