I’m Still The Same Person
Hidradenitis Suppurativa disease can sometimes feel like it is taking over your life. It’s important to remember that even though you have this disease, it does not define who you are. Your intelligence, character, and relationships will be the determining factor in life’s important decisions, such as your choice of work, whether to attend college, responsibility for being on your own, and the kind of person you want to be. People who have hidradenitis suppurativa lead positive and productive lives. Often, they find themselves better adapted to deal with stress and change because of the skills developed when living with hidradenitis suppurativa.
How we think about ourselves shapes the way we interact with the world. This is why having positive self-esteem is so important. Since hidradenitis suppurativa impacts the way you look, it can sometimes lead to a poor body image. It is natural to feel anxious, angry, and depressed, but it’s important to remember that there is nothing to be ashamed about.
Retrain your inner voice. If you find yourself thinking negatively about yourself, try to change the habit. Follow the rule: don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to someone else. Take time throughout your day to stop and check how you are talking to yourself.
Surround yourself with positive people. Not everyone is going to be accepting of your disease. Find the ones that aren’t bothered by your disease and are an encouraging influence.
Treat appropriately. If you are treating your disease, you are going to feel better physically and emotionally. If you are still having flares and symptoms, talk to your doctor about other treatment options.
Focus on the good. There is always going to be some degree of bad in our lives, but if you make that your focus, it is hard to see all the things that are going well. Write down a few things each day that were positive. Over time you can look back on what you wrote down for encouragement on tough days.
Having hidradenitis suppurativa doesn’t mean you have to sit on the sidelines. Participating in extracurricular activities is a great way to learn new things and meet new people, so take full advantage of the opportunities you are interested in. To make your experience more enjoyable, plan ahead for anything you may need to accommodate your disease.
Pack an extra set of clothes. If you are having a flare, your skin has the potential to crack or bleed. Be prepared by stashing an extra outfit in your bag.
Carry your treatments. Keeping your topical and over-the-counter treatments with you can be invaluable if you find yourself in a situation where you are away from home and need to treat.
Let coaches or instructors know about your disease. Telling the person in charge of the activity ahead of time about your disease can be beneficial if you need to modify your participation in the future.