Vitiligo is so much more than some spots on the skin because it may deeply affect self-esteem. If you have vitiligo, then you know that vitiligo has a set of emotional symptoms and these symptoms are especially frustrating. Shame, embarrassment, anxiety, fear, are all a result of vitiligo and the changes vitiligo represents:
- How will vitiligo look?
- Will vitiligo spread?
- What will people think?
- Will I be attractive?
- Am I worth loving?
- Are people staring at me?
All these concerns are rooted in our sense of self, our self-esteem, and vitiligo attacks our sense of self by changing almost randomly the color of our skin. This can affect our sense of control over out lives. While everyone deals with personal insecurities that are similar in nature but with vitiligo there is added pressure on our appearance.
So many people with vitiligo attempt to deal with these emotional side effects of vitiligo be working towards getting rid of vitiligo. And this is understandable. We can imagine that if we didn’t have vitiligo we wouldn’t be worried, depressed, anxious about our life. And this is when the biggest mistake is made: we conclude that getting rid of vitiligo is the solution to dealing with vitiligo and self-esteem issues.
The biggest problem with this is that you can’t fully control vitiligo or auto-immune conditions. While there are things that you can do to deal with the underlying health issues that inform auto-immune and vitiligo, there is no guarantee vitiligo will be eliminated. What’s more, the available health programs recommended to deal with the vitiligo take commitment, faith, patience, sacrifice and time and a willingness to try new things. Emotional healthiness is important to develop wether you attempt to get rid of vitiligo or not.
Getting rid of vitiligo is no substitute for dealing with your emotional health.
There is an opportunity here though. Vitiligo confronts us with our insecurities in a frustrating way, so we can accept the obstacle as an opportunity to grow if we want. I want to see vitiligo as an opportunity to grow. I can confront my fears, my insecurities and be stronger and more self-aware because of my willingness to see the positives.
Everyone more or less deals with these emotional side-effects:
- worrying about what other people think or feel about ourselves
- trying to control what other people think or feel about ourselves
- trying to control the future
- struggling to identify feelings
- taking care of ourselves physically and emotionally
- trying to please other people
- obsessing about things we can’t control
Vitiligo ads a special kind of color to these emotional issues. It’s makes the vitiligo struggle somewhat unique, but not totally unique. These are fundamental human concerns and the dealing with vitiligo is just like any other obstacle.
Self-esteem and vitiligo is something I often talk about on my newsletter. How is vitiligo effecting your self-esteem? Let me know in the comments below!