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.
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|
|Belgium||Centre de Prévention du Suicide||www.preventionsuicide.be||0800 32 123|
|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|
|Ireland||Samaritans Ireland||www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help||116 123|
|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|
|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|