Last updated: August 2021
If you have ever had persistent anxiety in your life, you know all too well just how awful it can be. As someone myself who lived with anxiety as a near constant companion for decades, I have some understanding of just how destructive it can be. That does not make me proud or see myself as an expert, but only speaks to shared experience.
Many people with hep C experience anxiety
In our work as peer support workers, anxiety is not uncommon among our peers, the community of people with hep C lived experience. As I understand anxiety, it is caused by all sorts of things. Trauma of all sorts in life, biochemical changes, and a range of internal and external events, that can even be connected to genetic factors. Finding the cause is a potential help to us, but should be explored with professional help and sharing our own experiences with others can help too, in a safe and secure setting. Our individual and collective privacy and confidentiality must always be paramount and respected.
Anxiety can be challenging
Anxiety can be debilitating in its most severe form and can lead to isolation and again, a range of emotional and physical health manifestations. It can take a bite out of our quality of life, at the very least, if it is keeping us from doing the things that help us cope with the day-to-day rigors of normal life. Yes, I know, What is normal anyway? A word used here to refer to the workaday life that most of us live, to include things like chores, errands, and all the things most of us do without a worry, unless we have anxiety that makes even these activities a struggle.
Then of course are the things that make us laugh and give us joy, the fun things in life. These activities can be curtailed or lost altogether when anxiety bites hard enough. Whatever gives you joy or happiness is an important part of the balancing act we all perform day in and day out. When anxiety rules, we can be made to feel overwhelmed and fearful, and that makes it harder to enjoy many if any of the ‘happy’ bits of life and living.
Help is available
When we are living with a chronic disease like hep C, we can find that the balance I mentioned is not so easy, and for anyone who has experienced anxiety, you know what I mean. Once again, seeking help is a good thing, whatever that help looks like for you. It is your choice as always. You can find ways to deal with anxiety, if you seek them out. There is hope, always. Anxiety really bites!