Hep C Challenges: Loneliness and Isolation
A hepatitis C diagnosis can make a person feel very alone. Especially when the diagnosis comes as a surprise, or when family members and friends just don't understand, many patients feel scared, isolated, and lonely.
To better understand how hep C affects our community members, we asked our HepatitisC.net advocates, "During your battle with hepatitis C, did you ever feel lonely or isolated?". If you are struggling with hepatitis C, you are not alone! Check-out their responses, and share your own experiences below!
“When I was diagnosed, there were not many support groups for hepatitis C, only one treatment, and no cure. My husband and family were a great support, but they didn’t fully understand what I was experiencing. The support groups at that time were dark, depressing, and negative, which only made me feel worst. I turned to my faith in God for hope. From God, I received peace and strength for the journey. Because of my relationship with God and my faith, I did not feel alone anymore.”
“My isolation was manifested most significantly at work. I didn’t tell my colleagues of my situation. It became awkward when experiencing elevated stress and uncertainty after receiving my diagnosis and during treatment, resulting in a sense of isolation and guilt since I was not disclosing my situation. When asked how I was doing, it was awkward at times when I was pre-occupied about my health but couldn’t discuss it. The loneliness was due to, for the most part, not having many people diagnosed with hep c and going through the same experience to talk to. The medical staff were very supportive, but it’s not the same as sharing with someone on the same level.”
“In the early days, I often felt alone and isolated. The people around me had no idea what I was going through. I "looked fine" to them and general awareness about hep C was not as good as today. Once I connected with others from the community of people with lived experience, it was like an awakening for me. It helped me to understand better, provided me with support, and was the motivating reason I made the step to advocate for others facing hep C.”
“I felt all alone, especially before I found a website. Nobody understood my mental pain. Everywhere I went, people seemed to be going on with their lives, and I wanted to scream, “I have hep C and my liver is slowly dying!” to people at the grocery store, on my job, and even with my family. Instead, I acted calm and composed so nobody would think I was crazy. It was the loneliest feeling in the world because I had never met anyone with hep C in person."
Editor's Note: Are you afraid to talk about your hepatitis C? Some people want to learn more about hep C, but also want to keep their diagnosis private. At HepatitisC.net, there are ways to get information and connect with others, without revealing your identity. Click here to learn more about how to talk about hep C anonymously.
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