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Why I Need a Mood Ring for My Plaque Psoriasis

Do you remember those mood rings? They’re rings with a stone that changes color, which supposedly indicates your mood, based on the blood flow to your finger. Mine had a big round stone in the middle and has since been lost somewhere in the midst of many moves and those frantic pre-packing cleanings. Besides, sometimes I can’t even wear a ring when my psoriasis symptoms get riled up, and my skin is fussy.

But if I still had my mood ring, here’s what you might see over time.

Purple: In my purple days, I had no clue what was happening to me. My symptoms were a mystery. All I knew was that I was in pain, my skin was blistering and flaking, and no one could tell me why. Purple is a scary time. My mind came up with all kinds of dramatic and frightening explanations for my situation, making for some sleepless nights.

Blue: Blue represents the shift into grief around getting diagnosed with a chronic illness and learning that my life would never be the same. I missed my pre-illness self who didn’t even think about their skin beyond slapping on a little sunblock or body glitter now and then. Sometimes I catch myself mourning simple things like picking out clothes without worrying about whether or not they’ll be painful to wear or irritate my skin. Blue also shows up when I try something that doesn’t help my psoriasis like I hoped it would, like a lifestyle change or a new lotion. That rollercoaster of hope and disappointment is a rough ride … and not in the fun way.

Red: Appropriately for plaque psoriasis, red is the color for those tough days, when the itching, burning, and flaking can’t be ignored. Red is anger, alarm, and caution. On really bad days, I get mad at my body for what feels like betrayal. After all I’ve done for it over the years, it does this? Literally attacks itself in the form of an autoimmune disease? I thought we were at least colleagues, if not friends.

Yellow: Yellow takes that anger down a notch to frustration. To me, yellow is the “Why me?” feeling. Sometimes it’s hard not to feel resentful or jealous of people who don’t have to deal with chronic illnesses like plaque psoriasis. It’s also the color of the feeling I have when symptoms get worse out of nowhere, especially when it’s the least convenient possible time for them.

Green: Ah, green. Blissful green. In my green times, I almost forget that I have plaque psoriasis at all. My skin feels smooth, and my energy is a little more plentiful. It’s lovely! I try to savor these breaks whenever they come along and for however long they stay.

Pink: This color can show up unexpectedly anytime, no matter what other color I might be feeling. Pink represents those moments of relief when I connect with someone who understands what it’s like to live with a chronic illness, whether it’s plaque psoriasis or something else. In a pink mood, I get to put down the weight of pretending I’m OK and just be a human. The nifty thing about pink? I can find myself in a pink mood from not only talking to someone, but also just from reading a social media post — or even an article like this one.

My hope here is to help you feel more seen and less alone as you cycle through your own mood ring emotions. Whatever color you’re in at any given moment, remember that even the toughest ones will morph at some point, and you’re not the only one who lives with this condition. You’re not alone! We’ll all keep riding through this prism of moods — together.     

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