Close-up of a devastated young man holding his head in his hands and a group of friends in a supportive pose around him

According to studies, people with psoriasis are twice as likely to get depressed as those who do not have it. While psoriasis is primarily a physical condition, many people with this disease struggle with depression and anxiety. They are not only affected physically but also emotionally and mentally. Due to psoriasis, they tend to isolate themselves to avoid feelings of embarrassment, shame, and self-consciousness. It is important for people with psoriasis to be aware of the potential impact of the condition on their mental health and to seek support if needed.

What is psoriasis? 

Psoriasis is a long-term skin condition that causes red, scaly patches on the skin, which can range in severity from minimal to extensive on various parts of the body such as the scalp, face, trunk, and limbs. It may also affect the nails. It is a common condition that affects around 2–4% of the population and is linked to other health issues such as psoriatic arthritis.

Psoriasis occurs when the immune system causes an acceleration in skin cell growth, leading to the buildup of skin cells on the surface of the skin instead of shedding. This process typically takes about a month for normal skin cells, but with psoriasis, it occurs in just three to four days. The resulting plaques and scales can appear on any part of the body, but they are most commonly found on the elbows, knees, and scalp. Some people with psoriasis may experience itching, burning, and stinging sensations.

What are the psychological effects of psoriasis? 

Psoriasis affects your relationships, your ability to handle stress, and your outlook on life in general. It is sad that psoriasis can lead to problems that challenge your mental state.

Low self-esteem

There are several factors that can contribute to low self-esteem in individuals with psoriasis. The visible appearance of the condition may lead to feelings of self-consciousness or embarrassment. Additionally, the challenges of managing a chronic condition can lead to frustration and a low sense of self-worth. The social stigma surrounding psoriasis may also cause individuals to feel judged or misunderstood by others, which can affect their self-esteem. Physical discomfort and itching associated with the condition can also impact a person’s overall well-being and self-esteem.

Social isolation

People with psoriasis have a hard time meeting and seeing others because of their condition. They do not want people to see them as disgusting and contagious. People with psoriasis may choose to distance themselves from others for fear of being discriminated against and judged. It is best to avoid others than to explain to them what their situation is. Chances are, people will not understand because the disease is visible and unpleasant to look at.


Coping with a chronic condition can be stressful, and the added stress may exacerbate psoriasis symptoms. Physical discomfort and itching associated with the disease are distressing and can interfere with daily activities. The social stigma that surrounds psoriasis can also be a source of stress. It is not easy to constantly feel self-conscious around other people. The worry that others can see it burdens you. It is just unacceptable that you are battling this kind of stress in life. 

Depression and anxiety

The physical and emotional impact of living with a chronic condition can lead to feelings of sadness, worry, and fear. It is possible for people with psoriasis to experience depression as a result of their condition. Living with a chronic condition can be challenging and can take a toll on a person’s emotional well-being. You start to feel hopeless and worthless because people do not like you and treat you differently. It is better to just stay away from everyone and deal with it on your own. 

How do you treat psoriasis and depression?

When you consistently feel sad and anxious, consider asking for help. Do not ignore the symptoms of depression because they can only lead to more serious issues. The sad thing about psoriasis is that there is no cure for it, but there are treatments that will help you manage it. Go to your doctor and ask for available medications. Steroid creams or ointments are usually prescribed to reduce inflammation and itching. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that aims to change your attitude and feelings about the disease.

This may be a difficult thing to overcome, but do not let your disease overshadow your hopes and dreams. You can still be happy and successful even if you have psoriasis. Your friends and family will still love you in spite of the disease. Having someone who loves you and having your own family is still possible. 

Mindshift Psychological Services offers CBT to manage your depression due to psoriasis. Visit our website to learn more about us and our services. You may also contact us at (714) 584-9700 to schedule an appointment. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *