Eczema has a significant psychological impact on sufferers and their families.
The condition can have a negative impact on mood and daily living, as it can be a chronically painful and uncomfortable condition. Eczema impacts quality of life for the sufferer and their whole family. Sleep disruption is very common, especially in infants and young children, but can also be true for adults suffering with eczema. Feelings of embarrassment can lead to social withdrawal and low self esteem.
If at any time you need urgent help with your mental health, go to your nearest emergency department.
Psychological Impact of Eczema
When people have trouble with eczema, they often seek help from their dermatologist or family doctor. The doctor can focus on medical strategies to treat the eczema. But often, there are other difficulties that go beyond just the medical effects of the eczema. It is important to also consider emotional effects of eczema.
Common Challenges of Eczema
Adults and children with eczema often have experiences that can make them feel bad. These can include:
When people wake up at night due to itching, it can be very frustrating. They often lose out on a good night’s sleep. People who don’t sleep well are often irritable the next day, at risk for headaches, and not as good at solving everyday problems. When children with eczema don’t sleep, often no one in the house sleeps. This can impact the psychological well-being of the parents and siblings as well as the child with eczema.
Pain management problems
Eczema can be very painful and can be on the person’s mind all the time. People in constant pain have a hard time getting their daily activities and work done. Sometimes they are more emotional because they get frustrated and tired by the pain.
Sometimes people feel less self-control because of their eczema (like, not being able to stop itching). Some even feel less attractive because of changes in their skin.
Together, these challenges can leave people feeling anxious, stressed, and even depressed. There is help! Working with a psychologist who understands these problems can help you manage these feelings better.
There are groups in every province that can connect you with someone who can help. Below is our most up-to-date list of provincial psychologist associations.
LIST OF ASSOCIATIONS
Alberta (PAA): http://www.psychologistsassociation.ab.ca/
British Columbia (BCPA): https://www.psychologists.bc.ca/
Manitoba (MPS): https://mps.ca/find-psychologist/
Newfoundland and Labrador (APLN): http://www.apnl.ca/
New Brunswick (CPNB): http://cpnb.ca/
Nova Scotia (APNS): http://apns.ca/search-psychologist/
Ontario (OPA): http://www.psych.on.ca/
Prince Edward Island (PAPEI): http://www.peipsychology.org
Quebec (OPQ): https://www.ordrepsy.qc.ca/accueil
Saskatchewan (SCP): http://www.skcp.ca/