MarcieMom (@MarcieMom) met Dr Christopher Bridgett (@ckbridgett) through Twitter – and learnt that he had a special interest of using behavioural interventions to help people with atopic eczema. DrB trained in medicine at Corpus Christi College, Oxford and St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, then as a psychiatrist in Oxford. He now works in private practice in London. He has co-authored several publications on The Combined Approach, that proposes using habit reversal to stop habitual scratching in atopic eczema. To find out more about behavioural dermatology, click http://www.atopicskindisease.com/articles/PeterNoren to read DrB’s interview with Peter Norén MD, the Swedish dermatologist who created The Combined Approach.
Marcie Mom: Good day Dr B, a stressful week has passed and today’s questions are related to the stress that parents with eczema children face and the strain in their marriage: Most parents of eczema children have no time for themselves, let alone exercise. Obviously, we know exercise is good for us but how does exercise affect our psychological well-bring?
Dr B: Great question! We seem to live in stressful times. Under stress the body releases hormones like adrenaline, that facilitate fighting, or fleeing! In modern times we can’t do either usually, so it’s important to have a regular physical outlet. A healthy mind in a healthy body.
Marcie Mom: Also, parents of eczema child tend to have less couple time and higher stress in marriage. What simple and practical advice would you give them?
Dr B: The first step is the one you have already taken: recognize the problem. Coping always begins with confronting reality. Next how it leaves you feeling needs expression – don’t bottle it up, let it out, talk about it, understand it and think it through.
Then consider getting and accepting help – problems shared are problems halved. Experiment with new ways of doing things. Don’t take the situation for granted – there is usually a way of changing arrangements for the better. DrB