Coping with the stress of hidradenitis suppurativa

Hidradenitis suppurativa flare-ups can be unpredictable and can make you feel as if you have little control over your condition. Because the lumps that characterize the condition are often found in intimate areas of the body, such as the groin and between the buttocks, it's also common to feel embarrassed by their appearance. This can cause anger, sadness, anxiety or shame. You might also experience depression.

If you're depressed or dealing with negative emotions caused by hidradenitis suppurativa, consider these coping tips:

  • Talk about your frustrations and feelings. Do this in a safe environment, such as with a trained counselor, an understanding friend or a hidradenitis suppurativa support group.
  • Manage your stress. Regular meditation or writing down your thoughts and feelings in a journal might help ease the stress that hidradenitis suppurativa can cause.
  • Educate yourself and your loved ones. Hidradenitis suppurativa might cause you to withdraw from family and friends. It can also affect your sex life, especially if you have open wounds or scars. You might also feel self-conscious about the odor emitted by draining wounds. Explain to loved ones that hidradenitis suppurativa is not contagious, nor is it caused by improper hygiene. Learning more about your condition and sharing information with others might bolster your self-confidence.
  • Manage your pain. Lumps and lesions can cause physical and emotional pain. Ask your doctor for advice on how you can limit your pain, such as by taking pain relievers and properly dressing and caring for your wounds. If you are depressed, talk to your doctor about depression treatment options.
Feb. 23, 2016