Proving what most people with skin conditions have realised for quite some time, a new digital study carried out by the Happiness Research Institute and LEO Innovation Lab has confirmed that living with a debilitating disease has an impact on their mental health.
Coinciding with World Psoriasis Day, which took place on October 29, the study – designed in Demark and surveying 1,400 people – revealed those living with the condition are 24 per cent less happy than the average Brit; half of psoriasis sufferers claim to have low self-esteem; and 41 per cent say they are ‘rarely confident’.
Furthermore, with an estimated 1.8 million people living with the skin condition in the UK, almost half say it has a ‘very large effect’ on their daily lives, and 35 per cent often feel unable to control the important things in their lives.
Chief medical officer at LEO Innovation Lab, John Zibert said: “Previous focus has primarily been on quality of life which can be perceived differently by individuals, however, happiness is something we all can relate to. This important research is the first of its kind in the world and we now have documentary evidence of the impact that living with a chronic skin disease has on people’s lives.
“It shows that those living with psoriasis are not only physically affected by the disease, but also the psychological effect can be important. People with psoriasis see a decrease in their quality of life relating to decreased happiness, and are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression, and may have suicidal thoughts.”
Psoriasis campaigner, Holly Dillon also commented on the research: “It is so important to highlight and address that living with psoriasis is not just a skin condition. It is a condition that also has a huge effect on your mental and psychical health, and this is often overlooked. By gathering and monitoring individuals with psoriasis through the Pso Happy App, we can finally address and have proof of how psoriasis affects individuals beyond the visible impact on the skin.
“This data will allow those living with psoriasis to feel in control and be aware of how the condition affects them, ensuring that they get the correct help in order to live well with psoriasis. Living with psoriasis should not mean that we should settle at being 24 per cent less happy than others. We need to recognise these stats and put psoriasis on the health agenda to ensure everyone is having the best quality of life.”
An ongoing study available via the Pso Happy app is welcoming participants. To find out more information, click here