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‘I’m fine’ and Other Things You Accidentally Tell Your Doctor

We understand. Discussing your skin condition can be like pulling teeth. Whether it is with your friends, family, doctor or your dog/cat/goldfish, it may be difficult to articulate exactly what you’re going through. So, we’ve outlined some common feelings (through memes) that you may relate to, in hopes that it will give you the confidence to speak up to your doctor – and trust us, you’ll be glad you did!

What my doctor thinks I’m going through vs. what I’m actually going through

Your doctors are well-trained and well-intentioned. They want to help you, but if they land on a treatment plan that seems to be working adequately, they may opt to stay the course instead of pushing for perfection. And if you don’t speak up, they’ll likely assume you are content.  

Make no mistake, doctors are on your side and have your best interests in mind! But they’ll never truly understand what it’s like to be in your shoes.  When it comes to your own health, “good enough isn’t good enough,” explained Shaun, one of our Skin To Live In community members living with psoriasis. “They [your doctor] may think your burning skin is just uncomfortable, but in reality it feels like your hand is engulfed in flames.”

Though you may (and should) have faith in your doctor’s plan, don’t be afraid to be open and honest. Take the time to honestly speak with your doctor about your treatment goals, gaps in your current plan, and your desire for more and/or better medical care.

“I’m fine.”  

We’ve all been there. We say “I’m fine” when we are really, really not. “We don’t want to make things more difficult,” Shaun says. “So instead of asking for more, we stick to what we know, and unfortunately, become complacent in treatment.”

Bottom line: If you believe your condition could be better managed, you should have a talk with your doctor. Period. Conditions like psoriasis and chronic spontaneous urticaria vary in type and severity, so if they cause pain, self-consciousness or interrupt the function of everyday tasks,1 you should feel comfortable addressing health goals with your medical team.

Stop wasting time.

Enough said. Talk to your doctor as soon as you feel that your treatment plan and expectations don’t match. Both urticaria and psoriasis carry the increased risk of depression, anxiety and stress.2,3 Living with severe, visible symptoms can cause feelings of isolation and exclusion, and some evidence suggests that stress can exacerbate those symptoms.4,5

  1. Website “Mayo Clinic” — Symptoms. Last accessed: 06.17.15 http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/psoriasis/basics/symptoms/con-20030838
  2. National Psoriasis Foundation. October, 2015 https://www.psoriasis.org/life-with-psoriasis/depression
  3. Website “US National Library of Medicine” — Chronic urticaria: importance of a medical-psychological approach http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17058846
  4. The role of psychological stress in skin disease. Kimyai-Asadi A, Usman A. J Cutan Med Surg. 2001 Mar-Apr;5(2):140-5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=11443487
  5. Website “WebMD” — The Psychological Cost of Psoriasis http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/psoriasis/coping-with-psoriasis

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