How I Survived High School Despite Having Eczema (Anti-Bullying Post)
Hearing and reading stories about kids with eczema getting bullied to the point of them wanting to commit suicide is brand new to me.
Growing up in the 1990s and early 2000s, it was not talked about as much as it is now. And for all I know, this has always been happening, even when I was young. I just wasn't aware of it because it was something that I and other people I knew always kept to ourselves.
I avoided bullying
When I look back to my time in school, especially in high school, which were very formative years and were the years that my eczema was at its worst and most obvious for people to see, I realize that I may have serendipitously put myself in a position to avoid bullying altogether.
Here are my tips and suggestions for what kids and young adults with eczema can do to avoid bullying at school.
Tough skin (literally and figuratively)
The first thing I think that helped me avoid bullying was being someone who could always face the truth even if it was ugly or painful. I've always been the kind of person to just take things as they are including my skin. While it was painful to live in, if anyone ever asked me about it, I probably would have gotten angry and defensive, but would not have denied it.
There’s no point in denying the obvious in my opinion. But because it was so obvious, I had very soon gotten tired of the broken record and rotary line off people saying the same things to me about my skin. I was not in a place where I was afraid for people to mention it. More like annoyed.
Even tougher reactions
I was usually someone who was ready to rumble.. And I think that my peers picked up on that fearlessness and anger and probably just chose to avoid getting into a verbal argument with me.
Find your passions
Another thing that I think was super helpful was that I am a busybody and curious and was always involved in extracurricular activities. Whether it was or choir, art class, creative writing, I was always doing something that I could share with others. I love sharing things that I love and creative expression is one of those things.
In high school, I was Editor-in-Chief of our literary magazine during my junior and senior years and went from being a wallflower to somebody people remembered and took notice of.
It's all about perspective
Once I started getting really involved in extracurricular activities and sharing my hobbies and talents, I became known for them and eczema was never rarely if ever a topic of discussion amongst me and my peers.
Become something other than your eczema
Hope that you will take these tidbits of advice to heart and give them a trial period or maybe share them with your child to inspire them to find activities, skills, and hobbies that they enjoy that they can share and be known for so that they can distract people from their eczema or let people see that they are not just their eczema.
Life with atopic dermatitis can be frustrating. Will you help others understand by taking our survey (US only)?
Join the conversation