What to Do If a New Treatment Doesn’t Work for You
There’s nothing more a person with eczema wants than to be relieved of the symptoms of this condition. Whether it is to be liberated from the itchiness or to just simply get a good night’s rest, this desperate need to want to heal can sometimes get the best of us. It can lead us to disappointments, especially when we try new treatments and the outcome is not what we had anticipated or expected.
Lately, I’ve been receiving messages of people feeling disheartened with the medications they’re on or have tried. For example, one lady recently described her disappointment with Dupixent and how it’s not healing her in the way she had thought it would. Someone else mentioned that they feel like they have tried everything and yet nothing seems to work for them. What can we do as individuals or as caretakers to set us up for success when trying new treatments? How can we still acknowledge ourselves and feel optimistic when a treatment doesn’t work for us?
Lessons from past experience
I remember a significant memory when topical steroids just stopped working for me after being effective (or what I thought was effective) for years and years. I remember being so in shock, confused, frustrated, and hopeless because this only drug that had worked for me all of these years, no longer worked. It didn’t do what I had expected it to do. It was as if the bubble I had been living in - a bubble that was comfortable and dependent on steroids - burst to leave me feeling vulnerable and lost.
Little did I know that later on in life I would be so thankful for this moment. Why? Because this very act of the steroids not working led me to research other alternative remedies that I had never heard about. I started learning about what foods supported my gut, and the importance of different vitamins and supplements. I learned about TSW and that there were other people who were living free of eczema, something I thought was never possible.
A blessing in disguise?
So although I couldn’t see it then, topical steroids not working for me led me one step closer to my freedom. If it had continued to work, I don’t believe I would where I am now in my healing journey. I don’t think I would be healing naturally as I have been for the past 3 years.
From disappointment to freedom
So I write all of this to say, what if your disappointment with a treatment now is your one step closer to freedom tomorrow? What if God/Universe closed this one door of opportunity, so you could get closer to the door of sustainability? The door of true healing!
I want you to know that it’s okay to be disappointed if a new treatment didn’t turn out the way you would have wanted it to. What can be ineffective is to give up on yourself and your health just because one option didn’t work for you.
Here are some tips I use when trying a new treatment that could possibly support you in staying hopeful.
Release any expectations
Expectations often lead to disappointments which is why I don’t lean on them when trying a new treatment. The most common expectations I come across are: “I thought this treatment was going to cure my eczema” or “I thought this drug was going to work quicker.” When these expectations are not fulfilled, we feel like a failure or that nothing is ever going to work for us. That’s why it’s important to release these expectations and instead lean into tip #2!
Set your intention
Instead of expectations, set your intention. Set a goal you want to accomplish by trying out this new treatment that is realistic and forward-thinking. Anytime I try a new treatment or product, I always set my intention on the fact that this attempt will lead me closer to my healing. That way, if the product is not effective, at least I tried and I can move onto the next thing.
Trying new things takes courage and vulnerability! It’s putting oneself on the line with the understanding that it could possibly cause hurt or harm them. Now, that’s bada$$ to me! Be sure to acknowledge yourself. Know that you are doing the best that you can at this moment. And that no matter the outcome, you are one step closer to your healing.
P.S. Please understand that we are living in historical times, where advancements and medications are on the lineup for the eczema community that we have yet to know about! For the first time in our lives, we have OPTIONS! We can CHOOSE which treatment would work best for us. We can look FORWARD to something new that can finally liberate us from these unbearable symptoms. But we must remain courageous, encouraged, hopeful, and faithful that our healing is on the other side of this disappointment.
Happy healing mindset, family! <3
On an average day, how would you rate your level of anxiety related to atopic dermatitis?