Mental Health

How does vitiligo affect people’s emotions, social interactions, and relationships? 

The change in appearance caused by vitiligo can affect a person’s emotional and psychological well-being and may cause lifestyle alterations, often becoming less active in social activities or wearing long-sleeves/pants year-round to cover visible vitiligo. Relationships may be affected by a poor self-image or lack of self-confidence. Many people find that emotional stress increases as vitiligo develops on visible areas of the body such as the face, hands, arms, feet, or on genitals. It is not uncommon for those with vitiligo to feel embarrassed, ashamed, depressed, or worried about how others will react. Adolescents, who are already concerned about their appearance, can be devastated. Patients need to let their doctor know if they are feeling depressed because doctors and other mental health professionals can help with the depression.

How can I cope with vitiligo better?

One of the first steps in coping is finding a doctor who is knowledgeable about vitiligo and current treatments and is capable of providing emotional support. Patients should also learn as much as possible about vitiligo and treatment choices so that they can participate in making important decisions about their medical care. This proactive approach will help them regain control of their life rather than allowing vitiligo to make the rules. It’s also important to establish support with family and friends and to talk with others who have vitiligo. Some people with vitiligo find support groups to be supportive and affirming environments. Click here for more information on support groups.

Suicide

A vitiligo diagnosis can be a devastating diagnosis for some people. Suicide is never the answer. If you or someone you know is considering suicide please reach out to the free resources below.  If you live outside of the US or Canada please search the internet for resources available in your area or review the list below.

Country Hotline organization Website Phone number
Argentina Centro de Asistencia al Suicida www.asistenciaalsuicida.org (011) 5275-1135
Australia Lifeline Australia www.lifeline.org 13 11 14
Austria TelefonSeelsorge Österreich www.telefonseelsorge.at 142
Belgium Centre de Prévention du Suicide www.preventionsuicide.be 0800 32 123
Belgium Zelfmoord 1813 www.zelfmoord1813.be 1813
Brazil Centro de Valorização da Vida www.cvv.org 188
Canada Crisis Services Canada www.crisisservicescanada.ca/fr 833-456-4566
Chile Ministry of Health of Chile www.hospitaldigital.gob 6003607777
China Beijing Suicide Research and Prevention Center www.crisis.org 800-810-1117
Costa Rica Colegio de Profesionales en Psicología de Costa Rica psicologiacr.com/aqui-estoy 2272-3774
France SOS Amitié www.sos-amitie.org 09 72 39 40 50
Germany TelefonSeelsorge Deutschland www.telefonseelsorge.de 0800 1110111
Hong Kong Suicide Prevention Services www.sps.org 2382 0000
India iCall Helpline icallhelpline.org 9152987821
Ireland Samaritans Ireland www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help 116 123
Israel [Eran] ער”ן www.eran.org 1201
Italy Samaritans Onlus www.samaritansonlus.org 800 86 00 22
Japan Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology www.mext.go.jp 81-0120-0-78310
Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan www.mhlw.go 0570-064-556
Malaysia Befrienders KL www.befrienders.org 03-76272929
Netherlands 113Online www.113.nl 0800-0113
New Zealand Lifeline Aotearoa Incorporated www.lifeline.org 0800 543 354
Norway Mental Helse mentalhelse.no 116 123
Philippines Department of Health – Republic of the Philippines doh.gov.ph/NCMH-Crisis-Hotline 0966-351-4518
Portugal SOS Voz Amiga www.sosvozamiga.org 213 544 545

963 524 660

912 802 669

Russia Фонд поддержки детей, находящихся в трудной жизненной ситуации [Fund to Support Children in Difficult Life Situations] www.ya-roditel.ru 8-800-2000-122
Singapore Samaritans of Singapore www.sos.org 1-767
South Africa South African Depression and Anxiety Group www.sadag.org 0800 567 567
South Korea 중앙자살예방센터[Korea Suicide Prevention Center] www.spckorea.or 1393
Spain Teléfono de la Esperanza www.telefonodelaesperanza.org 717 003 717
Switzerland Die Dargebotene Hand www.143.ch 143
Taiwan 国际生命线台湾总会 [International Lifeline Taiwan Association] www.life1995.org 1995
United Kingdom Samaritans www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help 116 123
United States National Suicide Prevention Lifeline suicidepreventionlifeline.org 800-273-8255
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