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Getting Through Hep C With Your Head Held High

Getting Through Hep C With Your Head Held High

Confidence, whether you are fighting a life-threatening illness or not, is sometimes bruised. For me, fighting hep C was a complete confidence destroyer. For the happy-go-lucky woman I was, I struggled behind closed doors with feelings of inadequacy- All because I was not feeling good inside and constantly fighting fatigue, exhaustion, feelings of not being pretty, sexy, the list goes on.

It’s hard to gain that self-worth and confidence within yourself when you are struggling day-in and day-out with health issues. You do your best to accomplish things in your day, but for myself, I internalized those things that I did not finish as failures. After beating myself up over and over, that turned into thoughts of I was not good enough, and it snowballed from there.

Every day…

I would get up feeling sick and not have the energy to do much of anything to get ready for work. I would put on my routine of doing my hair and makeup, but the feeling of “not good enough” haunted me. Many mornings, I would sit in front of my makeup stand and cry. I wondered if this was what my life was to consist of. The thoughts of my possible last days on this earth (so I thought back then) was to feel so unworthy and less than.

My mental health suffered

This feeling, from what I have come to understand, is very common with many people, male or female, when fighting a serious health issue. The emotional toll it plays on the sick can be overwhelming. I do know (through my fight) that my liver team was very on top of my mental health. They were always monitoring that, and several times offered me an anti-depressant to help me deal with the stress and anxiety. I was placed on a low dose during my first treatment of interferon and ribavirin because it just became too much for me to carry alone.

Asking for help

Many have a bad thought about using an anti-depressant for one reason or another- Often because they feel it would show a sign of weakness to have to be placed on an antidepressant. The reality is, if you are struggling so bad that you wake up sad, moody, depressed, and you go throughout your day that way and end up going to bed that way, you are not doing yourself any favors by playing tough guy/gal. You are punishing yourself.

I finally accepted the help during my treatment because I was tired of feeling so blue and helpless. I was not doing myself or my children any favors by playing “tough mom”. After going on this medication, it allowed me time to get through the treatment with a better focus and better mental outlook. I was not kept on this medication either. That is another misconception- that once on it, you will be on it forever. If your team of doctors can help you though a difficult health battle, let them. Get yourself built up to point where you are able to manage your daily life again. You are not weak if you take medications for depression, you are not less of a person. You are a strong person for seeing you need a little boost and willing to do something about it.

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.