Hepatitis C Makes Me Feel……
Being told you have Hepatitis C can be quite scary, and regardless of how long a person has been living with this disease, it can be quite an emotional journey. In our Hepatitis C in America survey, we asked people who had been diagnosed with Hepatitis C some questions about the emotional impact that this condition has on their everyday lives. The Hep C in America online survey was conducted between December 2014 and January 2015, with a main goal of establishing an understanding of the current state and trends of patients affected by Hepatitis C. The survey included 156 questions, and 403 people completed the study. To qualify, participants had to have Hepatitis C, and be over 18 years of age and a US resident or US citizen living abroad.
In the survey, we asked respondents to review a list of statements and select those that applied to them with regard to how it feels to live with Hepatitis C.
More than half of respondents said that they are afraid that they will die of HCV, and many also said that they blame themselves for having HCV, that they feel embarrassed or ashamed, or that they have stopped doing the things they used to enjoy as a result of HCV. Respondents also said that they are constantly worried about infecting others, that they are afraid to tell people that they have HCV, and that they think other people are afraid they will infect them. While telling people that you have Hepatitis C can be daunting, it’s important to share this news with friends and family so you can face this next chapter of your life. Our contributor, Karen, shares her own personal tips for telling friends and family that you have Hepatitis C.
We also asked respondents to tell us how HCV makes them feel, and we received a wide variety of responses.
Many people said that it made them feel alone, angry, tired, scared, dirty, sick, helpless, and depressed. As we know, depression is quite common among those with Hepatitis C, and it is really important to seek professional help if you feel that you may be depressed, or if you have any of the common signs of depression, like loss of interest in activities, weight loss, difficulty sleeping, thoughts of death or suicide, or the inability to think clearly.
There are so many emotions that a person may experience upon being diagnosed with Hepatitis C and then throughout the journey of living with this condition.
How does Hepatitis C make you feel? Please share with us in the comments!