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Psoriasis, my lifelong friend

Lifelong friendLife is not too bad.

Psoriasis is not such a bad thing, in my opinion. People do sometimes ask me about it, and I often reply that if I could choose to have one incurable disease, I would choose psoriasis. It’s incurable, yes; but there are worse things that one could have. For starters, my life expectancy is unchanged. Psoriasis, in of itself, is not going to kill me. It can be painful and uncomfortable, true; but compared to an entire world of other possibilities, it’s a long way off the top of the pain threshold scale. The psychological stress of what is such a condition can be huge. But, there’s another thing – a possible upside. What are the chances of one person getting TWO incurable diseases?

I’m not going to lie and suggest that there is any actual fact in this – because sadly for them, plenty of people have proven me wrong – but I do get the feeling that my chances of developing a much worse, life threatening, incurable condition have greatly decreased! I doubt that there are many bookmakers that would take those odds. Psoriasis – the thing that (possibly) saved my life!

I'm positive I'm OK.

You may have noted that I take a generally positive, upbeat approach to my skin condition – and to all other aspects of my life, too.  Sadly I don’t have any sensible, repeatable advice to give on how I achieved this happy medium – I think it is just in my nature. If I was going to offer anything, I would say don’t watch Soap Operas on TV – or any other such similar tripe. Some say that watching stories of people in worse situations than yours makes you happier by comparison. I disagree. If ever I feel a little down, I watch something funny. In fact – I watch something funny by default. Once I start laughing I can’t stop, and I would prescribe laughter as a medicine for many ailments. Sure – watch the news – that’s real life.  But don’t watch made-up sad stuff!

HappyBeing happy has been a lifelong trait for me, and I’m fairly happy about that!

I have had psoriasis for most of my life, and of course over the years there have been some low points. I remember when I first started to develop scales and redness on my face; staring at my reflection in the mirror with tears in my eyes. Generally, I am not that bothered about my appearance, and I am pretty honest with myself – as I am with others. I look in the mirror and see a not particularly handsome chap. It is what it is, I have only got what I was given, and I can deal with that. But our faces are a huge part of our identity. Our faces  are what people really see of us first. And when you see it suddenly changing for the worse, it is not easy to deal with.

Personal improvement

As disheartened as I was at the time – once again I am not going to make a big deal of this. We live in dangerous times, and a slightly scabby face is nothing whatsoever when compared to the innocent victims of the recent spate of acid attacks, for example. The strength, determination and courage of anyone disfigured by accident, injury or nature just blows my mind. And of course, anyone struggling with other medical, physical and mental issues almost certainly have been dealt  a far worse hand than I have.

I noted in another post that psoriasis has made me a better person, and I still believe this. My compassion, understanding, and empathy for others has increased as my own condition worsened.

Psoriasis – the seemingly unpleasant thing that actually improved my life…

Nigel Beckett

20th September 2018


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