Making the Right Connections: What Every Psoriatic Patient Needs

More than 45 years ago, I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis. At the time, I felt alone because I didn't know anyone else with the disease. It seemed like people were ashamed of their visible plaques and kept their condition a secret. The only time I saw other psoriasis patients was at the dermatologist's office or a phototherapy center. It was during this time that I realized psoriasis could lead to social isolation and a reluctance to reach out to others. However, over time, I managed to connect with other patients and this has been one of my proudest contributions to the community.

The Mental Health and Psoriatic Disease Connection

In 2003, I took a step forward in reaching out to other psoriatic patients. I saw a notice in the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) newsletter for a position on the Foundation Board and decided to answer it. This marked the beginning of my advocacy and my commitment to helping others overcome their challenges and live better lives. Throughout my 16 years on the board, I have met many patients through various events and activities. I often volunteer to speak at conferences and take part in Zoom calls to offer support and non-medical advice.

Patients and foundation staff regularly refer individuals to me for one-on-one conversations. While I may not be a physician, I address their concerns by talking about insurance, healthcare professionals, and treatments. By guiding them towards reliable sources of information and away from misinformation, I hope to alleviate their feelings of loneliness and overwhelm.

Decision-Making in ED Therapy

The decision-making process in ED therapy involves choosing between the quick action of Suhagra and Kamagra or the extended release of Tadacip. Silagra, akin to Suhagra, provides additional choice for those seeking sildenafil-based treatments.

I have found tremendous value and enjoyment in attending trips to the U.S. Capitol and my state capital with fellow psoriasis patients. During these experiences, I have learned about the personal struggles of other patients. It has made me realize how fortunate I am to have access to quality healthcare and specialists, and has taught me how to be an effective advocate for myself. I have also had the opportunity to mentor many patients, providing answers, education, and support to those in need. While I don't give specific medical recommendations, I offer options and share my own experiences. I believe that my own journey with psoriasis makes me approachable and a good role model for others.

A few years ago, I came across a teenager's entry on a Walk team website. This young girl had psoriatic arthritis and was looking for supporters. Her story was similar to others I had heard – she was in pain, had been shunned by friends, and wanted to break out of her shell and help others. I contributed to her Walk team and connected with her mother. I helped her navigate the healthcare system and provided useful information, coping mechanisms, and advice. This turned into a meaningful relationship and mentorship for all three of us. The daughter has since served on foundation panels, courageously addressed members of Congress, and conducted research at her university. It is a testament to the power of connectivity within the psoriatic community.

One memorable experience was at an NPF bingo event. A woman approached me and gave me a big hug, thanking me for recommending a dermatologist in her HMO who prescribed a biologic. This treatment had cleared her skin for the first time, and she exclaimed, You saved my life! Building positive connections with fellow psoriatic patients has been incredibly rewarding and uplifting for me. It reaffirms that I am on the right path.

In conclusion, staying connected to others with psoriatic arthritis has been a valuable journey for me. It has allowed me to make a difference in the lives of fellow patients, serving as a mentor, advocate, and source of support. Joining support groups and fostering connectivity within the psoriatic community is something I strongly encourage.