Like it or not, vitiligo can make anyone feel ugly. It takes time to rise above self-pity and isolation. While you go through heaps of emotions during the progression of the chronic skin disorder, it’s okay to be exposed to mood swings that are mostly uncalled for.
But, from experiences, you can tell that there is nothing good about mood swings. Besides, your vitiligo treatment can also be affected if your emotions are often mismanaged. Because emotions are difficult to deal with, the best thing a vitiligo fighter can do is minimize his reaction to them. You can do that by understanding yourself.
So, if you too suffer from mood swings due to vitiligo, even if you weren’t necessarily a ‘moody’ guy before, this article is for you.
1. Cope with Grief.
Not many vitiligo fighters are aware that dealing with the loss of pigmentation includes dealing with grief too. Instead of resisting it or wishing that your sadness over vitiligo would go away, try to surrender to it. Allow yourself to feel the emotions and cry if that’s what it takes to let grief pass much more quickly. Some may feel ashamed of crying, but it’s a natural and healthy release of emotions. Hormones and toxins which build up during stress cycle are released when you shed those emotional tears. So, there is a scientific benefit to it, too.
After crying your emotions out, you should be in a better position to know what is best for you at the moment —going for treatment or embracing your skin.
2. Sign up for Therapy.
Depression and anxiety are the biggest sources of mood swings in vitiligo. Because mood swings can have a negative impact on your emotional well-being and re-pigmentation (if you are experience any), the support of a psychologist may be recommended. This is where counseling with a certified therapist will come into play.
3. Stick to your treatment plan.
If you are on anti-vitiligo mediation, sticking to your treatment plan and believing that it will work can help you feel better, and improve sleep. Along with your ongoing treatment, maintain a 30-minutes exercise schedule. When you exercise, your body de-stresses and gets into a better mood due to the releases of endorphins. Exercising at the same time every day (at least in the beginning) can help you regulate emotional highs and lows.
4. Eat healthy.
Nutrition has always been a vital component of mood management. Including enough nutrients in your diet and avoiding excessive consumption of sugar and alcohol may help lessen the frequency of mood swings. Include a balance of carbohydrates, protein, fruits, and vegetables every day. You may want to avoid Caffeine as it can interrupt your sleep and can cause nervousness, anxiety, shakiness, and dehydration.
Hunger affects mood in some folks. Watch if not eating enough food or skipping a meal affect your mood too. If huger is a trigger, make sure to eat regularly to avoid mood swings.
5. Sleep well.
Mood swings can also be caused by exhaustion. Sleep deprivation (very common after vitiligo diagnosis) can affect appetite and energy level. This can further lead to sadness, irritability, outbursts, declined patience and mood swings. Ask yourself if you are getting all the sleep that your body wants. A good 8-hour sleep minimizes mood swings.
6. Talk about your emotions.
You may want to be left alone and avoid talking your growing white patches. But, it’s important to spend time with friends and tell them how you feel. We all have one friend you can tell everything to. Talk to that friend.
It always feels good to be surrounded by others who are dealing with similar emotional challenges. For that, you can join a vitiligo support group.
7. Observe your thinking pattern.
Tracking moods can help you with a greater understanding of ‘shifts and changes in emotions. Keeping a journal may help you detect patterns in mood shifts and recognize potential triggers. Make notes of outbursts and stress triggers. Note how much sleep you are getting, and what you’re eating and drinking. Over time, you will be able to see patterns emerging. By knowing your triggers, you will be able to prepare for times when you are most vulnerable to mood swings.
While it’s good to write out confusing feelings, it’s also important not to focus on negativity only. Write about a pleasant experience too. This should move you closer to feeling more positive emotions.