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Disengaged: Pulling Away with Hepatitis C

Do you feel alone with your hep C? It is normal for some of us to have these feelings. Some who are diagnosed with hep C will have to deal with feelings of being alone, or will isolate themselves because of fear, stigma, or symptoms. However, there are some of us who don’t ever have to deal with isolation, depression, and anxiety which make the whole hep C experience even more challenging. If you are one of the people who has only had the best of support and care, with no bumps in the road, you are lucky, and I am happy for you.

In my opinion, what we are all entitled to is to have access to care as a fundamental human right. Not really a very radical idea, is it? No, we all deserve it.

The dangers of giving up

If access to care, from testing to cure, is stressful and seemingly impossible due to constant barriers being placed in front of us, we can either fight harder or give up. Sometimes, that act of giving up can manifest in withdrawal and isolation, depressions, and all the problems that are part of the mix. Even when we don’t completely disengage, the constant fighting for care access and attention to our needs has a toll. Yes, been there and done that myself and it can be, at its worst, traumatic.

How to stay engaged in your healthcare

Taking the stress out of the equation goes a long way. This is not news to any of us, as we all have some stress in our day-to-day lives. When it gets ramped up because of difficult and deeply challenging physical and emotional hurdles we face, we can become a kind of turtle and retreat to the safety of our shell as a safe refuge. Disengaging with those around us, and even disengaging with health care. Sometimes, it is easier said than done to get outside the protective shell, we know, and just wanting something to be better does not always translate into change or better situations. The vulnerability that can accompany chronic disease carries its own set of stresses, and when heaped on the possible symptoms of hep C, it is only harder to engage with others.

There is help

What that help looks like will vary from person to person and place to place. It is counseling with a professional, staying connected to family and the community you live in, or through peer groups of people with shared life experiences. There is always hope that you can and will get better, with some help of needed, or you simply choose to go it alone. In my view, reaching out in whatever way you see as best for you, is a good thing, and disengagement has the potential to make your situation more challenging.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.