They say a picture speaks a thousand words, and although there is nothing funny about having psoriasis, these witty memes speak volumes about what it’s like to live with the disease. Check out seven memes circulating the internet that tell our stories all too well, and that maybe even offer us a smile or a chuckle on our most difficult days.
1. Taming the beast
A little Chris Pratt makes every day better, don’t you think? In this scene from the 2015 movie “Jurassic World,” Owen (played by Pratt) is trying to tame some raptors after they become aggressive. The scene is a little reminiscent of the way those of us living with chronic illnesses have to tame our symptoms. And much like these nasty raptors, there are plenty of ways psoriasis can get out of control. Did you know there are at least 10 other diseases associated with psoriasis? Psoriasis is problematic in and of itself, but the risk of developing conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and Crohn’s disease is another reason why it’s important to find an effective treatment for psoriasis. Stay strong and steady, and tame those beasts!
2. Dealing with misconceptions
If I had a dollar for every person who shared with me what they heard works for psoriasis, I would be a very rich woman. Can you relate? What is the craziest thing someone has suggested to you for your disease? Some people outside of the psoriasis community (those without the disease) have misconceptions of how psoriasis actually behaves. I have heard the following “helpful” comments:
- You need to wash more and it will go away.
- My cousin changed her diet and her skin cleared right up.
- You need to meditate more.
- Use [insert fruit here] and it will clear right up.
I appreciate people who are trying to be helpful, but it’s important to understand that this disease is different in each individual. What may work for one person may not work for the next. Don’t listen to what’s floating around the psoriasis rumor mill — figure out what works best for you.
3. Just dealing with my overreactive immune system over here…
Autoimmune diseases, including psoriasis, are the result of an overreactive immune system. Something causes a faulty signal in the immune system, which causes the body to attack itself and its healthy cells. In the case of psoriasis, the immune system is telling the skin that there is a foreign invader, which causes the skin to overproduce. In a normal individual, the body produces skin every 28-30 days, and then it dies and flakes off. In someone with psoriasis, this entire process takes place in three days, which isn’t enough time for the body to flake off the skin appropriately. The dead skin builds on top of healthy skin, causing inflamed, itchy, dry, patchy skin. That’s right, I’m dealing with foreign invaders attacking my body every single day. What have you done lately?
4. Are you kidding me?
This is pretty much how I feel every time someone says that psoriasis is just a “skin thing.” Perhaps the most common misconception is that psoriasis is just dry skin that can be solved with lotion or “better baths.” There have been countless times when people mistook my skin for being dry and thought it might be “cured” with an increased amount of Vaseline or lotion. It’s important to know that what one sees on the surface is the ending point of all the miscommunication going on beneath the skin. Mmmmkay?
5. Sarcastic comment forming now
If Chris Pratt doesn’t brighten your day, then Gene Wilder most definitely will! The late actor is most famous for his iconic film role as Willy Wonka. This amusing meme has been used thousands of times, including in the psoriasis community. His feigned interest and sarcastic grin embody the face those of us with psoriasis commonly make when someone tells us just to use lotion for our disease. Now if only we could drop those people into the Eggdicator and send them into the furnace holding room like Veruca Salt!
6. Dealing with depression, too
All humor aside, psoriasis is definitely no laughing matter. In fact, the most common chronic condition that accompanies psoriasis is depression. The National Psoriasis Foundation reports that people with psoriasis are twice as likely to encounter depression than the rest of the population. Depression can have a huge impact on quality of life by causing fatigue, sleepless nights, loss of energy, lack of self-esteem, and so much more. What typically causes depression in those with psoriasis is the visibility and immobility of the disease.
7. That feeling when your topicals stop working
Unfortunately, there is no cure for psoriasis or for most autoimmune diseases. There are treatments that can suppress the disease, including topical medications (lotions, ointments, sprays, foams), oral drugs, biologic injections, IV treatments, and phototherapy. Some find medicines that work for years; others are not so lucky. There is a phenomenon where some medications work great for individuals initially but, for some reason, stop working after a few months or years. Then you are back to square one looking for something else to manage your symptoms and flare-ups. So frustrating!
If you’re living with psoriasis, you’re dealing not only with foreign invaders in your body but also with less-than-helpful treatment suggestions from innocent bystanders. Hopefully these humorous memes remind you that you’re not alone if sometimes you feel like your life is on a movie set. And by sharing these memes, you can help shed some light and understanding on the condition for those outside the psoriasis community.