Rhianna's Story

Rhianna felt she lost herself due to her psoriasis but was able to slowly regain her confidence by finding professional help and writing about her feelings.

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Hello, my name is Rhianna and I’m 17 years old. I began my psoriasis journey when I was just 11 years old. I remember waking to red, angry patches covering my body, that felt like a paper cut. I was confused and that’s the least I can say.

Weeks before I discovered I had psoriasis, I had moved to a completely different town, hours away from home, leaving behind family, friends and memories. It was a positive new start for me, well that’s what I thought. I hated it! I used to reassure myself that it will get better soon. I became emotionally drained.

I had no idea that psoriasis even existed until my dad reassured me that he also suffers. My confidence was non-existent. I remembered myself being this positive, smiling young girl who had no worries. I stopped doing the things I once loved like socialising and even going to school. I became just blank like a canvas. I lost myself.

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I had to undergo PUVA treatment which gave me hope in finding myself again. The treatment left me drained and unmotivated. I had my first experience of sleep paralysis due to how drained I was with the early morning travels to a different town. My face was covered in painful burns. I just felt helpless and sorry for myself.

It was suggested that I talk to someone professionally to just talk. My confidence slowly came back as I began to write my feelings in a book. My psoriasis became unnoticeable from the strong treatment and I just reconnected in general.

Most people with psoriasis will know the struggle of feeling not good enough in your own skin. It’s the learning how to deal with that thought. Accepting your flaws and just being confident. Show strength to those who doubted you and forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for the pain you’ve put yourself through.

Read more real-life stories from young people living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

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