I reflect on the time back in college when my roommate spread a rumor that my disease was contagious. Eight years later, it still upsets me. I’m still angry. I often wish I could go back to that time in my life as the woman I am now: strong, proud, and unafraid to speak about my disease. Back then I was a funny and outgoing young woman, but unsure of myself. I hated my psoriasis and never spoke of my condition. Today I realize that maybe my issue doesn’t involve forgiving my roommate, but regretting that I didn’t have the ability to defend myself back then.
Having a visible disease like psoriasis puts you at risk of ridicule. Check out the stories below of psoriasis patients via Facebook Messenger, who encountered people who weren’t kind about the disease, and the advice they offer for how to deal with those situations. (Some names have been changed to maintain anonymity.)
Justin: Own Your Hurt
The worst encounter I had was with my wife’s step-mom. My wife was 8 months pregnant with our first son when we went to their house for a visit. My wife’s step-mom had sheets all over the furniture. We knew she had OCD, but this was even more bizarre than usual.
She proceeded to tell us that it was because she couldn’t handle my skin. She said that in previous visits it would take her hours to clean up my “sheddings,” and it bugged her so badly that she called her relatives to ask if she should just throw her vacuum away. She continued to tell me that there were treatments out there, and I was just being stubborn and lazy for not doing anything about my condition.
The icing on the cake was that she told us that if I didn’t get my skin under control, my child was going to suffer because other parents wouldn’t let their kids come around me. By the time we left, my wife and I were a wreck.
To read what happens next, click here.