Fear, Worry, and Anxiety with Hepatitis C
Last updated: July 2023
As someone who dealt with anxiety for several years, I know firsthand what a difficult thing it can be. I was a self-described hypochondriac for the longest time, and all you had to do was ask my mom, a nurse. Several times, I thought I was having cardiac arrests and other issues... The fact is that I never had any of those things. To be honest, I am unsure when I was in my worst years, if in fact I was hep C positive or not, because much of it is, thankfully, in my distant memory now. (Probably distant because I have chosen to not recall so well, but I remember some of the worst moments vividly.)
Getting diagnosed with hep C can be scary
There is no question, in my experience, that fear does accompany a diagnosis of hep C. Sometimes, it is beyond that alone. There is of course the clinical definitions and diagnosis, and yes, I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder long before my hep C was discovered.
In some of us, we worry over nothing specific until along comes an opportunity to attach our fears to an event or thing, future or past. I am no psychoanalyst, and base my opinions on my reading, the shared experiences of others, and most importantly, my lived experience. Yes, having lived with any disease or condition gives us an opportunity to observe and learn in a way that simply reading about doesn’t. I stand strong in this view, but know that it is not the only way we can acquire understanding and knowledge, by any means.
Stress can be damaging
In recent times, we have all seen how fear manifests itself in so many ways; In the greater society, nations, the globe, and in our networks of people, including our family and friends.
For those among us who are dealing with anxiety as part of our regular day to day lives, this added stress has not been at all helpful. All the platitudes and slogans in the world will not change the real or perceived threat.
Stress and worry can affect our physical health in the immediate way that anxiety or panic attacks cause hormone changes that over time can cause real physical damage. It can cause digestive problems. The emotional toll for some is devastating, and I can attest to that, and I know I am not alone in this. I developed an ulcer thanks to worry. I was in over my head in terms of my own ability to overcome the worry/anxiety that was seriously compromising my quality of life.
For me, learning more and seeking help made a huge difference. I am in no way suggesting my experience is the same as anyone else, but I do think that many of us can wrestle anxiety and over-worry down in a real way, in time.
Seek help, and don’t be ashamed if you too experience anxiety on an ongoing basis, or in a way that compromises you in your life. You deserve to be free of constant fear, worry, and anxiety.