According to the International Federation of Psoriasis Associations (IFPA) psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis affects more than 125 million people across the world. This poses a serious global health issue that can have a significant psychosocial impact on those with the condition.
August marks National Psoriasis Awareness Month, a time for raising awareness and shedding a light on the lives of those with the condition. To mark this, we wanted to shine a light on some of the fantastic individuals who share their stories and experiences about living with psoriasis.
We spoke to three individuals that are living with the condition but are also changing the conversation around psoriasis and raising awareness to help not only others with psoriasis but those dealing with other skin conditions.
So, without further ado, a big thank you to our first contributor Aimee. She shared her story below.
Aimee Grace Godden, 33
Artist and psoriasis advocate Godden is an active promoter and supporter of body positive campaigns. She was first diagnosed with plaque psoriasis at age 14. However, it wasn’t until 2018, after contracting tonsillitis, that patches of guttate psoriasis spread all over her face and body. “The toughest part of all of this wasn’t the pain, itching or discomfort but having to come to terms with the drastic change in my appearance.” Something, that affected her not just physically but also psychologically: “At first, I couldn’t look in the mirror. I spent a few weeks staying at my mum’s house, sleeping in her bed alongside her because I’d dread waking up alone, even then I’d wake everyday crying.”
The reactions to her appearance from strangers was distressing. “Strangers would stare and point at me in the street and at work customers would ask not be served by me in case I was contagious. Then there was the online bullying, the comments I received after sharing my story online was hideous and offensive.” Despite receiving a number of despicable comments and messages online, Godden didn’t let this stop her from sharing her story and helping others.
“My posts have helped others with the same condition and others with mental health problems, this has opened up many amazing opportunities, including a nomination for Mental Health Blog 2019.” Godden is still exploring ways in which to treat and manage her psoriasis, in particular light therapy and coconut oil works wonders in relieving her skin. She believes in the importance of sharing personal stories to help others living with the condition and hopes that one day there will be an answer for all those with the condition.”