Living with a visible condition like psoriasis can impact your physical and emotional health.
While the right psoriasis treatment plan can help you manage physical symptoms, connecting with others with this condition can help foster mental and emotional support. That support network can also be a valuable source of advice and information for how to tackle whatever life with psoriasis throws your way.
Not sure where to start your search for psoriasis support? Here are six ways to connect with others who are living with psoriasis.
Finding a local support group in your area is a great way to connect with others who have psoriasis where you live. These groups serve as a space where people meet in person to share their experiences as well as psoriasis management tips.
Local support groups are often run by a facilitator or therapist. Your dermatologist may be able to refer you to an in-person support group near you.
Online support groups give you the chance to easily interact with others who have psoriasis. It can be done from your home without arranging to meet face-to-face. This is comforting for some who wish to remain somewhat anonymous or are looking for instant support.
Online support groups also help you overcome geographic hurdles by allowing you to connect with others who have psoriasis no matter where you live.
The National Psoriasis Foundation recommends signing up with their partner, Kopa for Psoriasis, for online community support. The Psoriasis community forum run by Inspire is another option.
An alternative to group support is talking one-on-one with someone who shares the experience of living with psoriasis. A
If you’re looking for this type of personal connection, The National Psoriasis Foundation has a One to One program that matches up people with psoriasis with a mentor. With One to One, you can sign up to receive support, or you can apply to become a mentor through the program.
Many people who are living with psoriasis share their experiences on social media platforms like Instagram or TikTok.
You can engage with these posts by following hashtags like #psoriasis, #psoriasiswarrior, and #psoriasisawareness. Through this process, you can connect with other followers who share your experiences.
Social media is another way to learn what’s happening in the psoriasis community, whether near you or in other parts of the world.
The psoriasis community is large and advocates often hold awareness or fundraising events.
The National Psoriasis Foundation has a directory of these types of events on its website. You can simply attend these events as a guest, volunteer to help out, or participate in fundraising. In the process, you’ll get to know others who are also living with psoriasis.
Conferences are another engagement opportunity.
The National Psoriasis Foundation often hosts virtual or in-person community events. These conferences give you a chance to learn more about psoriasis.
You can also learn what’s happening in the psoriasis community and connect with others who are living with the condition.
A support group, either in-person or online, should provide a sense of community where you know you’re not alone with psoriasis. It can provide emotional support as well as tried-and-true advice for managing psoriasis from people who have been there.
Not every support group will be the best fit for you. Before you sign up, consider asking these questions to determine if it’s the right environment for you:
- Who facilitates the support group?
- Do I have to pay a fee?
- If the group is online, is my private information protected?
- How often does the group meet and where?
Perhaps the most important question to ask yourself is whether the group feels right for you.
For instance, ask yourself if you’re comfortable attending a support group for psoriasis run by someone living with the condition. If not, you might prefer to search for a group that’s run by a mental health professional.
A support network is an invaluable resource for anyone living with psoriasis, no matter the source.
Consider participating in support groups in a way that makes you feel comfortable. At first, that may mean just listening to others and helping them through their experience. When you’re ready, you may be more willing to open up more about your own life with psoriasis.
Psoriasis can have physical and emotional tolls. It can be hard to communicate what it’s like to live with the condition.
Connecting with others who understand firsthand can help gain knowledge about what’s worked for them all while helping you feel less alone.