Psoriasis : "I got through it thanks to alternative medicine!"
Published Jun 24, 2020 • By Candice Salomé
Gaby23, a member of Carenity France, wanted to share her story. She currently lives with psoriasis* and decided to tell us about her fight against the disease. She recounts her journey and how alternative medicine has helped her feel better in both body and mind.
*Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by well-defined, red, raised plaques covered with whitish scales.
Hello @Gaby23, you wanted to speak about psoriasis. First of all, could you tell us more about yourself?
My name is Sophie, I'm 46 years old, and I have a 20-year-old son. I started having psoriasis at the age of 32, following an emotional trauma, betrayal and a difficult break-up. I am a woman who likes to laugh, is kind (a bit too much), is hypersensitive and is an empath (being an empath means having a higher level of empathy than the average person). Also, it is important for me to say in the context of psoriasis, in the past I haven't known how to set limits. I like to dance, to eat, I am a lively and cheerful person at heart.
What were your first symptoms of psoriasis? What prompted you to seek treatment? How long did it take to be diagnosed?
I saw red spots appearing all over my body and I'm sure it was related to the emotional stress I was experiencing. It was mainly the unsightly side of psoriasis that prompted me to seek treatment. I saw several dermatologists, 5 or 6 in all, and did a biopsy. It was a long time before I went into remission. I think that skin problems can't be solved with just ointments or creams. You have to find out where the problem is coming from.
Photos of Gaby23 15 months ago and today
What were your daily symptoms? What impact did psoriasis have on your professional and personal life?
On a daily basis, my symptoms were the red drop-shaped patches all over my body. It was bearable at first but so unattractive! I was embarrassed. I realized right then the sort of humiliation people with skin diseases experience.
I've never really found my place in the professional world, but I think it has something to do with my hypersensitive side. I'm working on it. I think my type of personality can attract toxic people into our lives, both professionally, privately and emotionally. I often attracted selfish and toxic men mainly because of a lack of self-love.
On a daily basis, psoriasis is difficult to manage. I tried to hide my "embarrassing" plaques because I'm quite a perfectionist, but it only made my unhappiness even worse! Psoriasis is only an externalization of inner unhappiness.
Have you received treatment for psoriasis? If so, was it effective?
I was prescribed treatment based on corticosteroid creams that was effective on my plaques (inflamed parts of the skin). But the plaques kept coming back. My problem wasn't solved in a profound way since the stress behind my unhappiness and my "inner wound" was still present. Stress was a very important element in my illness! At the beginning, I saw an improvement with the creams, but as it went on my skin became more and more red and fragile and it no longer responded to the medicines, quite the contrary.
I soon experienced side effects. My skin was getting worse and worse and was starting to itch and even ooze in places. It was difficult to wash and dress myself... The treatment just wasn't enough anymore.
Did you receive regular follow-up care? And what have you put in place on your side to make you feel better?
I started to educate myself about the human body. I did a vocational certificate in aesthetics to learn more about the skin and how it reacts. I also studied the mind and childhood trauma and it was a true revelation for me about the disease. I did a few therapy sessions with a hypnotherapist as well as a life coach focusing on NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming). I also did EMDR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) with a psychologist and energy therapy to reharmonize the different bodies of my being (physical, emotional, energy and intuitive). I started yoga, which also permits a reharmonization of energies and releases the knots in the body. I started dancing and taking walks in nature as soon as I could. I rest as soon as the need arises. I have a healthy Paleolithic style diet (eating in the manner of our hunter-gatherer ancestors) that is gluten-free and free of pasteurized dairy products.
Are you satisfied with your course of care (consultations, diagnosis, treatments, etc.) and with the information you were given about psoriasis?
No, I wasn't satisfied at all. No, I wasn't satisfied at all. The human body should be treated in its entirety (body and mind) to treat an illness! You can't treat an illness if the underlying cause of the illness is not found and taken into account. A holistic approach is necessary.
As a matter of fact, I've become a holistic aesthetician. I assist others on the path to healing in all aspects of their lives. To this day, corticosteroids and other treatments are completely banned from my life because, I think, they "gradually poison patients and create other chronic diseases".*
We need to listen to our bodies and our inner voice that leads us to where we are supposed to flourish by resolving emotional dependencies and by listening to and caring for each other. Today, thanks to the road I have travelled, I am doing very well.
*Always seek the advice of your doctor before making any decisions regarding your treatment.
In your opinion, what causes the onset of psoriasis?
It's a combination of things: family baggage, chronic stress, trauma, emotional shock... anything can trigger a condition such as psoriasis or eczema. It can often follow a break-up, abandonment or betrayal.
The body, which is already in inflammation due to a poor lifestyle and a more or less chronic stress (due to our current lifestyles), will react by producing an overflow of toxins that comes out on the skin in the case of psoriasis, for example.
You talk about stress and anxiety, which you believe may be the cause of psoriasis. How have you coped with it?
By taking care of my liver. I've eliminated all addictive substances: alcohol, cigarettes, junk food and medication. I eat healthily, I rest if necessary and, above all, without feeling guilty. I exercise. Taking care of yourself is essential. This requires a healthy lifestyle and good emotional management. We must first deal with the traumas of childhood. I have also removed all the negative and toxic people from my life that drain my energy.
Are you currently seeing a psychologist?
I've done some brief therapy. But for lack of financial means, I've mostly done my own research because the "good ways to manage your stress" are expensive and not covered by the French health system.
So, I started to teach myself about the energy therapies that I practice regularly. I meditate and do hypnosis sessions by myself. I do a lot of reading about love, respect and self-esteem. Today, I can say that my hypersensitivity helps me to understand people, their authenticity and their problems. I trust myself in what I feel. Reconnecting to your body is also very important.
Are you supported by those around you in coping with your psoriasis?
Yes, I am supported by my family and caring friends. They are here for me every day. They were scared during my withdrawal period from the treatments because the suffering was very real. The body learns to work on its own again and regenerates itself. It is a slow process and you have to be patient.
How are you doing now? Are you currently in remission?
I am in remission and I think it's because of my dedication to my own health! I took the responsibility to do my own research to understand how the body and mind work. It is important to know that 80% of our unconscious guides us, including our self-limiting beliefs and conditioning. Our body talks to us, and if we don't listen to it, then it becomes ill. Sometimes we have to fall very low to realize that we are not happy where we are.
Finally, what advice would you give to members who also have psoriasis?
I would advise them to go see therapists for short therapy sessions (hypnosis, NLP, EMDR...) in order to release repressed emotions. It is important to take the time to talk, write, say things, assert yourself and dare to say "no"! We have to release repressed trauma, take care of ourselves and not wait for someone else to do it for us. There is often a lot of inner anger and repressed sadness.
Thank you to Carenity for allowing me to speak on this topic.
We would like to remind you that you should not change your treatment without consulting your doctor.
Many thanks to Gaby23 for agreeing to share her story on Carenity.
And you, have you been able to control your psoriasis? How?
Feel free to share your experience with psoriasis in the comments, we are here to support one another!