At the age of 10, Nitika Chopra was diagnosed with a debilitating case of psoriasis. By 19, her joints were entirely inflamed and she was further diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. From the tips of her toes to the crown of her head, her body was covered in unsightly sores…and for the first five years of her second diagnosis, she was unable to move without severe pain. While she’s come a long way since then, the first 15 years of diagnosis and life with chronic illness left Nitika overwhelmed with pain, insecurity, and confusion…and also led to depression. But why does she share so openly about these experiences now? Because: she gets it. She resisted self-care at first, and even overdosed on self-improvement (the concept that something was “broken” and needed “fixing”) in her search for self-acceptance and love. And so she made a clear decision: to commit more to her happiness than to her suffering. With baby steps — long baths, lotions, even a little bit of glamour — she began to feel compassion for her condition, as well as for herself. Her perspective shifted from total despair to the deep faith that there was a better way. And she started to realize that she was meant for something much bigger than a life spent in misery. In 2010, her commitment to natural beauty led her to create the online lifestyle magazine Bella Life. A few years after that, she was hosting her own talk show, Naturally Beautiful. She even landed a position as a luxury skincare spokesperson and regular expert on QVC! But something was still missing. In 2019, she launched The Point of Pain podcast and Chronicon — a highly successful one-day event that finally helped her fulfill her life’s purpose: to bring together Spoonies and their allies in real talk about finding that same love and abundance in their lives that she had spent so long seeking. And, as she shares in this interview, the pandemic changed everything. While it was no longer safe to congregate in large groups, she cleverly pivoted Chronicon to an online community. We’ve been working within the community to keep this vital conversation going, while Nitika has been curating amazing content just for us: Spoonies and our loved ones. From events and guest posts to product discounts and giveaways, she has given us a window into what CAN be for this community; with hope, prosperity, and inspiration round every corner. Help us welcome Nitika back to the show!
Tune in as Nitika shares:
- that she didn’t feel comfortable leading conversation about her chronic illnesses until 2017
- how she has grown as a patient advocate — and what this role means to her
- how she understands “toxic positivity”
- how she pivoted from Chronicon as an in-person event to an online community, as a result of COVID
- why the Chronicon Community is about meeting you where you are
- how to join the Chronicon Community
- how she showcases community members regularly in the Chronicon Community
- how Chronicon addresses the decolonization of wellness
- how she views diversity in advocacy
- what future events in the Chronicon Community are looking like
- how her morning routine really helps keep her balanced
- why it’s important to invest in your relationships
- why — as Toi Derricote says — joy is an act of resistance
Join the Psoriatic Arthritis community on StuffThatWorks! Check out these insights:
The Psoriatic Arthritis Community on StuffThatWorks currently has 1.3k contributors. This shows a list of the most effective treatments, based on the experience of the community contributors.
This chart shows how difficult it was to get diagnosed, based on the experience reported by the 1.3k community contributors.
Here’s a look at the most INDICATIVE symptoms for psoriatic arthritis, based on the experiences of the 1.3k contributing members of the Psoriatic Arthritis StuffThatWorks community. On a scale of 1 to 10, the higher the score, the more indicative the symptom is of psoriatic arthritis.
Transcript coming soon!
In the meantime, check out Nitika's chat with us from last year: