Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I (don't) feel pretty, oh so pretty!

I've been saturating this blog with information about medications and the science behind autoimmune diseases lately. It's fascinating stuff, but dealing with medications is only a small fraction of the Psoriatic Arthritis experience. The disease changes the way we move, plan, play, and think about ourselves (here's a great story about a brave woman with PsA). And that's even when we're well medicated.

For some reason, for the past week I've been dwelling on PsA and what it has done to my body image. I know that when I feel stiff and in pain, I don't feel pretty. I don't like the way I look when I hurt physically, I've realized. Why is that? I bet that's a common feeling for those of us out there with PsA, RA, all the other A's. Plus I have psoriasis to boot, and those red scaly patches are not the most gorgeous accessories.

So I went hunting for some stuff on Psoriatic Arthritis and body image, and stumbled upon this article, which is just as informative as it is depressing. It is essentially a rundown of the low quality of life that people with Psoriasis have - and how to recognize the depression, social avoidance, negative body image and suicidal tendencies in some people with Psoriasis. The article addresses the fact that shame and disfigurement experienced by some sufferers can cripple many aspects of their lives. I have experienced some of this myself, and I can't imagine it with a worse disease course.

I'm going to spend a little more time this week looking at PsA, Psoriasis, chronic illness and body image. I do choose to live in hope, and maybe I'll find some interesting ideas to share. Until then... bring on the drugs. Maybe they'll make me feel prettier.

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