Walden University Physical and Mental Health Discussion Responses
I need a response to the post below:
There are around 2,000 possible skin diagnoses, ranging from mild to severe and life-limiting (Trueland, 2021). The most common presentations are inflammatory skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne. In September 2020, the National Eczema Society patient survey found that 89% of respondents felt that having eczema had significantly reduced their quality of life, with nearly half saying it had affected their education and 28% their career (Trueland, 2021). One in ten reported having a romantic relationship end due to their condition and almost three-quarters (74%) said it had negatively affected their mental health, leaving them feeling depressed, anxious, along with stigmatization, discrimination, and a lack of social acceptance (Trueland, 2021).
When I worked for an Allergy and Immunology office, we received a consult from a dermatology office to evaluate and treat a patient for allergies. The patient was a 16 year-old-girl accompanied by her mother. She was dressed in baggy sweat pants, long sleeve shirt, her hair was long, dry, and brittle, and rarely made eye contact. The mom answered all the questions even when I tried to engage the daughter, she was very shy and reluctant. The mother stated“it’s just eczema, I don’t see the big deal, everyone goes through this as a teenager…I’m tired of buying medications and taking her to the psychiatrist, the dermatologist, and now the allergist.. its too much.”
This behavior is very common and I can understand a parent’s frustration, however, I was more concerned with not only the patient’s health condition, but also her mental health like how she’s coping, how she’s feeling, and her support system. I acknowledge the mother’s feelings and politely reassured her, the plan of care was to evaluate for allergies and try all other alternatives to help her daughter. I asked the mom if she can step outside, so the doctor and I can do our assessments. At this point, I sat right in front of the patient and told her this is a judgement-free zone you can openly ask me questions or addressed any concerns…I want to hear from you how you’re doing, how has this skin condition affect your life, your family, school, friends, or personal relationships. She started to cry and says no one understands, no one thinks it’s a big deal, and no one cares. I gave her a hug and reassured her we cared about her and what she was going through.
Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (WHO, 2021). As nurses we have an important role to play in identifying patients that might benefit from further assessment and support. It’s vital to be mindful of all parties in this situation, acknowledge everyone’s feelings and build a trusting and therapeutic relationship. It should be part of holistic personalized care with any chronic condition to work out whether the patient’s mental health is impacted by their disease, and dermatology conditions are chronic health conditions (Trueland, 2021). 1 in 5 people with a skin condition receives psychological help and 5% of people with skin disease experience suicidal thoughts (Trueland, 2021). There’s also a lack of awareness of modern treatments such as biologics, which target cells in the immune system and can transform a patient’s condition and quality of life (Trueland, 2021). We ended up prescribing Dupixent which is a biological injection to help treat atopic dermatitis. Within several months the patient eczema improved drastically and the most rewarding feeling was seeing a change in her personality and appearance.