Psoriasis is a skin condition in which skin cells build on each other and form dry patches that are often itchy. Nitika Chopra, a chronic illness advocate and talk show host, knows firsthand how the disease can impact life every single day.
Diagnosed at age 10 with a particularly debilitating case of psoriasis, which also included painful psoriatic arthritis, Chopra spent years learning to cope with her condition. All the parts of her life, from what she wears to how she eats to how she dates, are affected by the constant presence of her psoriasis. “You can imagine having your greatest wound or the thing that makes you feel most exposed or vulnerable out for everybody to see the moment they say hello to you,” she says.
However, in time, Chopra learned to manage her condition and became a passionate advocate for others struggling with chronic illness, so that they could learn to love and care for themselves exactly where they’re at.
“Psoriasis has encouraged me to look at everybody with tremendous compassion,” she says. “Now, when I interact with people, I feel like I acknowledge and see them as the things that are probably hard and tender for them and also as the things that are great about them.”
One thing that helped her along the journey? A strong support system, which can be crucial when you’re dealing with a chronic condition like psoriasis. Chopra credits her friends and family for lifting her up and being there for her when she struggled.
Watch the video above to learn more about Chopra’s experience with psoriasis.
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