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When Others Hurt Your Feeling with Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C patients deal with a variety of issues which can include emotional pain from others. When other people don’t understand your hepatitis C, it hurts and can make you feel alone.

“You don’t look sick!”

Many hepatitis C patients are trying to keep up with life, while also feeling ill and managing the disease. If people say, “You don’t look sick!”, they often mean it as a compliment. In reality, no one wants to wants to look sick or be sick at all.

Personally, when I was taking my hep C treatment and experiencing side effects, someone made the statement “You don’t look sick”, but they added that I “must not be having a hard time with the treatment, or with the disease”. I am embarrassed to share that I fired back a cutting answer; They didn’t have a clue what I was dealing with.

Hep C discrimination

Another time, I was applying for a job, the owner knew me and knew I had hepatitis C. He voiced his concerns and asked if anyone could “catch” hep C from me. Whoa! Even though I was hurt, I took the opportunity to explain the facts of how hepatitis C is and is NOT transmitted. Education is needed to dispel the stigma, and often it falls on the patient or family member to share the facts.

Confronting misinformation

If you share the facts with kindness and grace, often, you will receive kindness and concern back. However, for those who don’t treat you kindly, let it go, my friend. Trust me, holding onto hurt and grudges hurts you far more than you realize. You don’t need it in your life.

When going through Hep C treatment and recovery, it can be frustrating, tiring, and coupled with a mix of emotions that no one understands unless they’ve gone through it. To be honest, treatment recovery and timing are different for every Hep C patient. The goal for hep C treatment is to get rid of the virus and get back to a normal life. And, hopefully, as quickly as possible. Who wouldn’t want that?

Personally, I came to resolve that no one would ever fully understand what I was dealing with unless they had gone through it themselves, and I needed to give others grace- regardless.

What helps?

When I was going through my treatment, I yearned to talk to others who had come through it. I needed to connect to hope. Well-meaning family and friends, and even sometimes medical professionals, did not relate to what I was dealing with, I knew those who had been through the battle with Hep C would understand best.

Hepatitis C knows no bounds. It goes beyond financial means, sex, race, and more. Patients need a place where they supported and understood regardless of what they are experiencing. If you or a loved one have Hep C, there are numerous online support groups and forums where others care and understand what you’re dealing with.

When you come across others who mean well, but may say things that sting, give grace and kindness back instead, it’s the best medicine you can give yourself.

Have you ever had your feelings hurt about your Hep C? How did you respond?

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.