Vitiligo: A State of Mind

I received a comment today from a woman who thinks that she might have vitiligo and her words made me take pause to think. She spoke of having a few autoimmune diseases in her family and about the research she has done to try and find a cure for her own ailments.

The medical community may not agree with patients searching for a cure for their own condition since they have little or no medical training as to the specific complexities of the human body, but from a psychological standpoint, I think it’s the greatest emotional healer. It’s how they get their power back.

Hearing a diagnosis for some physical ailment is in itself a hard pill to swallow (pardon the pun), but the feeling of helplessness that follows, the total dependency upon the medical community to ‘fix’ the problem, and living with the physical effects of the illness, can leave one emotionally drained.

If you think about it, no matter what situation you face, be it a breakup, problems in the workplace, or health issues, your perception of the situation and how you live through it will directly influence your emotional standing. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed, but it’s imperative to your overall health.

Vitiligo is as much a mental disease as it is physical. As a matter of fact, if it weren’t for the obvious white patches on the skin, one would never know that they had a problem. This skin disorder brings no physical discomfort, but it almost guarantees social discomfort because your skin is not a uniform color.

So, how do you live with this? Well, through all of the communications I’ve had with people who have vitiligo, I can see 3 categories that they fit in: the “I’m fine with how I look and don’t care what others think” group, the “I can’t face another day living with this” group, and most people are in the “I don’t like having this skin disorder and I’m not getting the help I need from doctors, so I’m going to help myself!”

The first and third categories are empowered, but if you find that you are in the second, please try to find a way to change your perception so that you can feel better about yourself and live a happy life.

Easier said than done, I know. But I think even the smallest act of taking supplements daily which may help the vitiligo, going for a walk each day, or perhaps journaling your feelings daily, will help. Routines can bring on a sense of pride, this leads to raised self-esteem, which then brings you to a place of having self-worth. And when you have self-worth, not much can stand in your way of being content.

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