I’ve known Navya* since childhood — let’s just say that she is my partner in crime. But what I didn’t know about were her struggles and the mental sanity that she was losing over a crippling disease called psoriasis!
Yes, a crippling disease! A disease that doesn’t only depredate your skin but also take a dig on your mental health. A very crippled and devilish disease which has no cure.
So, it started around the rise of 2017 — a tiny patch on her private parts which she initially ignored — when it began to grow, she thought it was some sort of vaginal infection, which gradually reached her thighs. On showing to the doctor, it was found that it’s psoriasis — something she had no idea of.
“I still remember how much my parents got worried after knowing this. It was not just the disease that hampered them but the fact that the entire extended family won’t spare their daughter after they get to know this,” Navya sighs.
Navya belongs to that part of the country where women are measured as per their colour tone. Oh, wait, isn’t this what happens in the entire country?! But yes, she belongs to a very broadminded family but a very orthodox ‘khandaan’. So the bottom line is, beauty mattered to them. The flesh of the body was more considerable to them than the cerebrum.
“I realized how much external beauty mattered to people — which psoriasis ruined in my case,” Navya continues. “When my doctor told me that it’s not curable, I felt the literal meaning of ‘main thehra raha zameen chalne lagi’. But did I have any option? Not really! I did everything — from homoeopathy to allopathy, ayurveda, yoga, what not! — knocked every door, be it the medical science or the spiritual path. But my life was going no less than Ekta Kapoor’s daily soap.”
“I told my brother and boyfriend. They listened — to every word of mine and just said, ‘does it really matter?’ And there had been no turning back ever since,” I love how Navya’s eyes get brightened when she smiles.
It was not easy for her. Of course, who likes to see huge patches on their private parts and other areas of the body? But she was determined — not because the ‘external’ beauty mattered to her but the fact that she was not able to wear her favourite LBD. Afterall, log kya kahenge!
She changed her diet completely, which eventually transformed her. A quick recap of what she went through —
- Mild and simple meals without oil or spices
- Full sleeves clothes every time on stepping out
- No shorts/ dresses
- And, a very few people were aware of her condition.
It matters when people don’t know about your condition. “Every time I went to birthday parties or family functions, I couldn’t eat my favourite food, and everybody used to ponder about me. And I was lean enough to say that I was on a diet. That’s when ‘these very few people’ came to my rescue. They used to cover me up with bizarre and funny excuses, and I loved the way they stood for me every time,” Navya tells me.
Well, I don’t know what’s wrong with these relatives! Mine pestered me to lose some weight while hers were harassing her to gain some kilos.
Navya went for two ayurvedic treatments — virechan and vaman — and a massage prior that. These processes help the body in getting toxic out of it — via poop in virechan and via puke in vaman. This was followed by a strict diet and a healthy lifestyle. However, PCOS befriended her to make it worse.
“I used to have sudden mental breakdowns, but I always pacified myself, believing that there were a lot of people suffering more than me. My doctor always said that I’ve comparatively fewer patches than a lot of women, but duh, these were enough to kill my self-esteem. At times, I used to itch my scalp so much that blood would come out of it. Awful, I know,” Navya continues with her tale.
She was more worried about her relatives’ reactions than her desire to eat cheese. But she kept fighting against the evil duo of PCOS & psoriasis. She continued her workout and yoga and tried not to stress out much.
“I owe it to these people, my parents, brother and boyfriend who endured my mood swings so seamlessly. It’s been more than three years now and I just have two patches on my body. All I am doing now is keeping up with my diet and routine,” Navya continues with a brief of the diet she followed.
- Minimized salt and sugar — it triggers the itching and results in bleeding
- Included rock salt in her diet
- Removed dairy products
- Kept moisturizing her skin during winters — coconut oil is best
- Ate only green veggies and no junk/ outside food — once in a month would be okay
- Exercised a lot — meditation is recommended.
Though only two patches are visible on her body now, Navya believes a steady diet helped her a lot. She convinced herself that she would get rid of those patches, no matter how long it takes. Her diet and workout sessions eventually helped her to get rid of PCOS as well.
In the end, she smiles and says, “kuch toh log kahenge, logo ka kaam hai kehna! I won’t say not to take stress because I know you will but do not forget to meditate. Keep your hopes high. Psoriasis is a part of you; you are not a part of psoriasis.”
*Name changed as per requests.
Images: Provided by Navya.