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I feel very much alone with this

I developed psoriasis at 11. Clearly, there was a strong genetic link as my father had severe psoriasis. My mother's reaction was very negative in that she said no one would ever want to marry me with this! Not a great thing for a young adolescent to hear.

I spent weeks in hospital having bed rest and tar baths as a teenager. I went on to marry and have 3 children. Then shortly before I was 27 I developed psoriatic arthritis which worsened considerably over the next 5 years. The impact on my life was devastating as it was major factor in the break up of my marriage as my husband didn't want to be married to a cripple as it would hold him back in his career.

So I just had to get on with bringing up 3 children alone, I did a degree and started a career relatively late in life. I've been on various treatments over the years to try to control the condition from methotrexate, ciclosporine, etanercept and now adalimumab. They either work for a while or have a limited effect and I now have the arthritis from the neck down. Every day is a struggle trying to control the pain and cope with the exhaustion. I work full time in a demanding job and help look after my little grand daughter. But have been told that as I have a particularly aggressive form of the disease which is difficult to control I will need to slow down and changed lifestyle.

Ten years ago I remarried, but unfortunately my husband doesn't understand how it impacts on me and does little to help. He is retired and happy with his life. As said previously it is a hidden disease and most people don't understand about it.

Apart from my wonderful children I feel very much alone with this. I love my job as it makes me use my brain, enjoy interactions with colleagues and stops me focusing on myself while I'm at work.

Submitted by a 59 old female living in England

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