The 10th of September marks World Suicide Prevention Day. This is an important topic across the board, but we are going to be talking specifically about suicide in Hidradenitis Suppurativa Patients.
Living with Hidradenitis Suppurativa is difficult for countless reasons. One of the major reasons is because a lot of the time people can’t see what you are struggling with. HS is commonly found in the armpit, groin, thighs and under the breast so when a HS patient is fully clothed it may not look like there is anything wrong with them. To someone who doesn’t know much about Hidradenitis Suppurativa, it can be hard to explain the extent of it (especially if they can’t see it in plain sight). This can be hugely frustrating because, not only does a HS patient have to endure the physical difficulties that come with the skin conditions, they also have to battle the mental issues.
“Patients with skin disorders are considered at a higher risk of depression and anxiety than the background population. Patients with hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) may be particularly affected.”, Thorlacius et al., 2017
Living with a skin condition such as Hidradenitis Suppurativa can lead to extreme mental health issues. Lowered self-esteem, anxiety, social anxiety and depression are just a few. It is because of this that there is an increased suicide risk in patients with Hidradenitis Suppurativa.
What can we do to help?
There are several ways you can help the Hidradenitis Suppurativa community but the key one is to raise awareness. Although it is not a rare skin disease (It affects at least 1-4% of the population) many people still haven’t heard of it. Some of these people are doctors and nurses or patients presenting with the symptoms but don’t know what it is.
Raising awareness of the skin condition will help in numerous ways. It will help reduce the stigma around HS, increase people’s understanding of the condition and should help lead to faster diagnoses.
What can we do to raise awareness?
We have a full blog on what you can do to help raise awareness but here is a summary:
- Share the HidraWear ‘What is HS’ video.
- Follow HidraWear or HS charities on social media.
- Share a HS support group – You never know who will need it.
- Repost the HidraWear ‘diagnoses infographic’ – This could lead to faster diagnoses.
If you have any questions at all, please feel free to message us on social media or to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.