My name is Basma, and this is how living with psoriasis since being a 6-month old baby, hasn’t stopped me from having a fullfiled live.
A bit about me: I am 37 years old mother to my 2 blessed kids, a wife to an amazing man. I am an ABA therapist (Applied Behavior Analysis) in Bahrain (a small island in the middle east).
My story: Living with psoriasis
As a baby, my psoriasis started in the scalp, top of my head and as I was growing up it started to spread all over my body. So when I was 2 years old it spread from my head to toe.
It was hard growing up with psoriasis at times, but my parents sure raised me no different than anyone else. They made me the strong person that I am today.
I can’t really say if my skin ever took over my life. I always lived my life to the fullest. So much, that there were times I actually forgot completely about my skin, and I didn’t realize how much people’s stared. I always felt when people were staring at me, but I thought that they were thinking “my god she looks FAB”. That was always my attitude. And this confidence is the attitude is the same on other psoriasis advocates in the community.
But overall I had a normal life. I was bullied a bit in school but had no trouble many boys having an interest in me; or I didn’t have issues wearing what I wanted. I had no trouble being very social and having lots of friends.
The thing is: I always believed that you should not let your insecurities take over your life. We all have insecurities, some are hidden and some are shown, bottom line, we are all not perfect.
Having a support group
For me, my parents have always been the greatest support on this journey of living with psoriasis. They never gave my meds like steroid creams. They have always tried to use other alternative medicine (natural remedies) for my skin, and I am very grateful for that. It can be hard, but it’s not impossible. My parents have taken me all around the world and tried so many treatments for my skin. They are still being hopeful that they will find a cure for me, bless them both.
I had other struggles in my life other than my psoriasis, I am ADHD, which I had struggles with academics all my life. Perhaps I felt that was my weakness rather than my skin. I have failed and gotten kicked out of school, but no one knew I was ADHD until I studied special ed in the UK at the University. My professor knew I was different and that is where I got my diagnosis. Knowing that, it then made a lot of sense about my struggles and behavior. I do believe psoriasis and ADHD have a link, and I’ll continue doing research on that topic.
People will always have opinions about your life
As I was growing up, I had a few of my relatives crying or worrying “If I will get married” or ” Who will marry her with this skin”. I still laugh until this day.
Like so many other people living with psoriasis, I’ve had people in my life making ugly remarks about my skin or get worried because they think that it might be contagious. I am always ready for such people. I don’t mind it anymore, and when I have people like this in my everyday life I just laugh it off. The people close to me would never make such remarks.
So, what do I believe that you can do to help your skin?
I realized being vegan/vegetarian does help a lot more. Reducing stress, sleeping well, drinking lots of water in the day, staying away from alcohol and smoke, and exercising all help my skin. Pretty much the things we all should be doing regardless, to have a happy healthy life.
Of course, no routine is perfect. Because I have 2 young kids, sleep can be on and off (depending on if they don’t wake up in the middle of the night and come to my room LOL). As for stress, my job can very stressful when working with autistic and related developmental disorders. But I’ve learned how to control my stress by jogging, doing my morning affirmation, and meditation.
Some people have suggested I quit my job so I don’t get these psoriasis effects. But I always laugh and say: “life is stressful, you have to learn how to control that mindset”.
I actually LOVE my job, I enjoy being an ABA therapist. I enjoy what I do and how much I give a meaningful life for each child and family.