4 Things You Can Do To Protect Your Mental Health
I've lived with atopic eczema since I was a child. While my flaring is less severe now that I am older, it's still pretty obvious. You can tell something is different about my skin with just one look. Many people ignore it. It's a lot easier for people to look away now being that it's healed greatly over the years. Occasionally I still get a funny look or a few questions, but as soon as I say eczema, I find they can relate in one way or another. Growing up it was quite different. Growing up people didn't "look the other way." They looked directly at it. I got questions from my childhood peers as well as adults. It bothered me a lot. As a child I was shy and withdrawn. I didn't want to talk about my eczema, mainly because I didn't understand it. I always wondered why I had to be so different and I always wished I had "pretty skin." With time I've somewhat mastered dealing with the awkward stares and annoying questions.
Ways to care for your mental health and well-being
Talk about it
As a teen, I found healthy coping mechanisms. One of them being simply talking about it. When people ask me "what's wrong with your skin?" Most days I give a simple explanation. "I have eczema." A lot of people know what eczema or atopic dermatitis is, they just don't always know how to identify. I've also found that a lot of people come to me with questions and I later find out they have it themselves! - Because atopic dermatitis can look so different on different people, especially of different nationalities, it's not always easy to recognize.
Don't stress about it
So you've tried this prescription and that ointment and neither worked? That's okay! Some things just take time. Including medications, treatments and healing. Don't get stressed out over your condition. Stress won't do anything to better the situation. Try to remain calm and level headed. Just because one thing didn't work, doesn't mean another won't.
Don't allow the opinions of others to influence your own
When you have any condition that's in plain sight, you're going to get stares. People can't help it. Some people won't even realize they're doing it. Don't allow that to impact your mood or influence how you feel about yourself. Sure, there are some rude people. They may make comments or even treat you differently, but that's their issue. Have confidence in yourself and understand they are not perfect. Only someone who has serious issues with themselves would go out of their way to hurt or judge others.
Don't take it personally
Not everyone has bad intentions. Some people are genuinely interested in your condition and what you have to say. You never know, that person may also have your condition or may even be a healthcare professional that can help with a few tips or suggestions. Don't take stares or questions too hard. The same could go for unwarranted advice. Address it, or (when necessary) just ignore it and move on.
Did you know October is eczema awareness month?