Skip to content

Coping With Psoriasis: Understanding and Navigating the Emotional Challenges

Dr Catherine O'Leary

Catherine’s lived experiences of living with psoriasis shines through each chapter, full of top tips for helping others to manage their condition. Catherine’s letter to herself as a 16-year-old at the end of the book is particularly poignant, full of insights, hope and wisdom.

Professor Delyth Higman James
Professor of Health Psychology in Pharmacy Practice and Principal Lead for REF (Health Sciences), Cardiff Metropolitan University

Dr O’Leary has highlighted and crystallised the anguish and life course impairment of people with
psoriasis but at the same time has produced practical tips to enable patients to cope with
the disease. A very worthwhile read for patients as well as their family members and
healthcare providers.

Professor Chris Griffiths OBE
Emeritus Professor of Dermatology, The University of Manchester

Dr O’Leary provides a unique insight into the emotional and psychological effects of psoriasis with her personal experience and in her capacity as an experienced clinical psychologist.

Lucy Moorhead
Nurse Consultant in Inflammatory Skin Disease, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust

If you are living with psoriasis or interested in learning more about this condition, then I highly recommend this book as a source of support, wisdom and hopefulness.

Professor Andrew R Thompson
Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Psychodermatology Researcher

There are so many resources included in this book to help clinicians provide excellent care for patients with psoriasis, and I will be recommending my colleagues to read this book. I personally loved this book.

Teena Mackenzie
Consultant Nurse in Inflammatory Disease and Biologics, and Education and Development Lead for the British Dermatological Nursing Group

Just as important as providing explanations of these psychological effects is all the practical advice for
facilitating coping, which is succinctly summarised at the end of each chapter. This is
a moving, powerful and useful book, which should be read by clinicians, patients and
anyone wanting to understand more about the psychology of health and illness

Professor John Weinman
Professor of Psychology as applied to Medicines, School of Cancer & Pharmaceutical Sciences, King’s College London

Living with psoriasis can feel lonely, and in the book
Dr Catherine O’Leary gently reassures the reader that their feelings towards psoriasis are
both valid and understandable, offering her support and wisdom as a clinical psychologist
and someone living with the condition. A must read for anyone affected by psoriasis.

Helen McAteer
Chief Executive, Psoriasis Association


Paperback isbn: 9781914110368
Pages: 220
Publication Date: July 1st 2024


£16.99Add to basket

Table of contents

1 Introduction

2 Psoriasis and depression

3 Psoriasis and stress

4 Psoriasis and shame

5 Dealing with unwanted attention and others’ reactions

6 Living with pain, discomfort and itching

7 Blame and lifestyle factors

8 Psoriasis and emotions

9 Relationships and intimacy

10 Models of illness beliefs

11 Psychological strategies for coping

12 Developing self-compassion

13 Coping with treatments

14 Supporting others with psoriasis

15 Positive growth and psoriasis



Mental health concerns

Letter to my younger self


Glossary of terms

About the book

Psoriasis is a challenging skin condition impacting all areas of life, including the choice of activities people engage in, their relationships and their emotional wellbeing, confidence and self-esteem. These impacts often continue even when the condition is in remission, such is the psychological toll that many people experience. Despite this, people with psoriasis can find it hard to access support for the challenges they face.

This self-help book is the first of its kind, written by an experienced clinical psychologist who has lived with psoriasis since childhood. From this unique perspective, the book explores cutting edge research investigating the emotional and psychological impact of psoriasis, drawing on the author’s personal experience and a range of tried and tested therapeutic approaches including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT).

Topics covered include:

  • Stress and depression in psoriasis
  • Understanding feelings of shame and low self esteem
  • Coping with pain, discomfort and itch
  • How to deal with unwanted attention and other people’s reactions
  • How to improve relationships and intimacy
  • Coping with treatments
  • Increasing self-compassion

Expert advice and practical tips will help you navigate the emotional challenges and improve your psychological wellbeing, making this an essential book for anyone with psoriasis, as well as those who support them, including their family, friends and clinicians.

About the author

Dr Catherine O’Leary is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist who has worked for many years in medical settings in the NHS. She is trained in several therapeutic approaches including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Family Therapy and Interpersonal Psychotherapy. She is passionate about supporting people and their families to live well with physical health conditions.

The Association of Clinical Psychologists (ACP-UK) is the representative body for the profession of clinical psychology in the United Kingdom. ACP-UK aims to be a strong voice for clinical psychologists, and to act for the good of those who use psychological services and the general public by promoting, publicising, supporting and developing the profession of clinical psychology.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Back To Top