Mental health and psoriasis

Post your questions regarding mental health and skin conditions here.

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moaningmin01
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Joined: Thu May 16, 2019 2:25 pm
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by moaningmin01 on Mon Apr 06, 2020 11:56 pm

Mental health and psoriasis

With us having to stay at home just now my psoriasis is coming out more and the itch is driving me mad, what can I do?

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Dr Alexandra Mizara
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Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2020 1:53 pm
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by Dr Alexandra Mizara on Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:32 pm

Re: Mental health and psoriasis

The situation all we are living at present with social distancing and isolation is very challenging and a certainly very stressful experience. We do also know that psoriasis is reactive to stress and stress can exacerbate it.
It is worth considering identifying what is stressful to you and how you can relaxe (using mindfulness, Headspace etc) in this situation. Also the more you scratch, the more you itch. Try to keep your hands occupied and get distracted from the itching feeling.
Dr Alexandra Mizara
Chartered Counselling Psychologist

http://www.talkhealthpartnership.com/on ... mizara.php

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Dr Andrew Thompson
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:41 am
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by Dr Andrew Thompson on Thu Apr 09, 2020 6:19 pm

Re: Mental health and psoriasis

We all understand that the current pandemic and lockdown is causing stress. Reducing stress may be achieved by the use of various simple relaxation exercises etc. There is an excellent source of free audio files at freemindfulness.org.

Exercise and planned activity and simply catching-up with friends (via e-means) can also all help to distract and improve your wellbeing.

An approach called 'habit-reversal' can also help break the itch-scratch cycle. This approach involves monitoring/recording your itch using a clicker or tally counter (available in google paly/app store), prior to looking to subsitute scratching behaviour with a competing or alternative response. Recording the scratching serves to draw your attention to when you are habitually scratching (you may be surprised to find that there is little or no itch on some occasions). Keeping a diary can also be useful, as this helps you to identify times, places, people (or even thoughts and feelings) etc. that might trigger scratching. Does it happen more when you're bored or simply when watching TV? Does it seem to happen almost on autopilot? After recording this baseline for a week, then look to use alternative behaviours such as squeezing a stress ball or patting the skin etc. Look to set yourself up to be prepared to deal with situations where you know you usually scratch (e.g. if it happens when you are watching TV be ready with a specific plan 'when I notice the urge to scratch whilst watching TV I will count to three and then squeeze the ball if the urge is still there'). More information can be found on habit reversal on the www.skinsupport.org.uk website or here: https://www.guysandstthomas.nhs.uk/our- ... GoToPage=2. If the problem persists consider seeking expert help from a dermatology nurse or psychological practitioner once the pandemic is over.

Finally, my dermatology colleagues tell me that it's essential in battling itch to adhere to use of emollients and ensuring regular application occurs even though we're on lockdown is important and should run alongside the use of habit reversal.

Very best,

Andrew
Dr Andrew Thompson
Registered Clinical and Registered Health Psychologist - DClinPsy., C.Psychol., AFBPsS., DipCAT., FHEA., BA(Hons)

http://www.talkhealthpartnership.com/on ... ompson.php

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