HomeTSW SupportMental Health

Mental Health

TSW can have a profound effect on your mental health and overall quality of life. The extent to which it can incapacitate you physically leaves many sufferers feeling extremely distressed and isolated.

It is common to feel terrified and doubtful due to the unknown nature of this condition. The very fact it is caused by medication means that many lose faith in modern medicine and doctors altogether.

Furthermore, lack of support from the medical community has a massive impact on sufferers, with many feeling abandoned by doctors who don’t want to listen or believe them.

TSW can temporarily radically alter your physical appearance, leaving sufferers scared to look in the mirror, take photos, see friends and family or even leave the house. This has a profound effect on one’s self-esteem and self image.

NHS Psychological Therapies

From the NHS website:

“If you live in England and are aged 18 or over, you can access NHS psychological therapies (IAPT) services. A GP can refer you, or you can refer yourself directly without a referral.

IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) services offer:

  • Talking therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), counselling, other therapies, and guided self-help
  • Help for common mental health problems, like anxiety and depression”
NHS psychological therapies service (IAPT)

Some tips from the community

Stay connected

It is really important to keep in contact with your family and friends while going through TSW. You may not feel like you want to see anyone, however you could need their help if you get really poorly. You can also use the TSW Instagram community and Facebook groups where you’ll find fellow sufferers who can be amazingly supportive and friendly. (Link to community)

Be kind to yourself

TSW is really, really hard. It is a serious condition that can make you very ill. If you need to take time off work to recover then do. Some days will be tougher than others, you don’t need to be positive all the time. Don’t feel guilty about what you eat, recovery from TSW is not dependent on your diet. If you fancy that piece of chocolate, then eat it!

Don't compare

We know it’s hard not to, but everyone’s journey is unique and sometimes comparing your experience to another can leave you disappointed. Take a break from social media if necessary. Recovery timelines are non-linear and vary greatly from person to person. Trust the process and remember that time is the only true healer, and every day is a step closer to healing.

Distract yourself

The full-body itch you get with TSW can be torturous, so it is helpful to find something to do that will distract you from scratching 24/7. Suggestions we’ve had include knitting, podcasts, netflix binges and reading.

Is your mental health really suffering?

TSW can be a very traumatic experience. If you are struggling with anxiety or depression even once your skin has recovered, it may be time to seek professional help.

Going to therapy is not a sign of weakness, in fact it is the opposite. It takes a lot of strength to recognise that you need help.

TSW can be a truly awful condition to deal with and can take years to overcome. We want to be as honest as possible in order to paint a realistic picture of what you should expect so you can prepare yourself.

NHS Urgent Mental Health Helpline
  • Samaritans: 116 123
    (24 hours a day, 365 days a year)

  • SANELine: 0300 304 7000
    (4.30pm–10.30pm every day)