Ask The Advocate: How Hepatitis C Can Affect Relationships
Hepatitis C doesn't just affect the liver. In fact, it can impact all aspects of life, including work, intimacy, and even relationships with friends and family. To better understand the true effects of hepatitis C, we asked our HepatitisC.net advocates, "How has hepatitis C impacted your relationships with friends and family?". Check-out their responses, or comment below to share your own experiences.
"My family and friends were great supporters who loving stuck by me through my entire 20 year journey. I believe we’ve grown closer because we stuck together during those hard times."
"Almost all of my relationships have not changed. All of my friends and family that know of the diagnosis were very concerned, supportive, and relieved that the treatment was so successful. Some new friends found out through the internet that I had hep C and those that mentioned it were very supportive. Many had had similar experiences in the 1970-80’s and were also at risk for hepatitis C."
"Hepatitis C impacted my relationships with family and friends in the early days of my diagnosis; Like most people, their beliefs about hep C were founded in their lack of knowledge, which in some cases was damaging to our relationships. As a person who disclosed freely about my hep C status from the beginning, I understood very soon that their level of understanding affected their view of people with hep C. This was problematic for some friends who held beliefs that lacked in empathy and leaned more in the direction of judgement. My family was amazing and offered support readily and without judgement, and I know this is not true with everyone, but I believe that this is changing with more awareness, however slowly and painfully."
"My family has experienced a lot of loss due to hep C. I feel it contributed to my divorce after 32 years of marriage. My children and grandkids had dreams that had to be put on hold while I went through treatment. My siblings lived separate adult lives. During my treatment, we learned that we could count on each other more than ever. Now that I am hep C free, my family is back on track for a bright future. We are all closer as a family now."
"For me, hep C impacted every relationship I had. It put so much stress on my marriage. Because hep C is not an external disease showing external signs of deterioration, it was difficult for my husband to understand the seriousness of my condition. It lead to a lot of resentment from both of us. With my children, it forced them to grow up quicker and have to deal with adult issues before their time. Witnessing the death of their grandma and knowing their own mom also fighting the same disease was traumatic for them. My friends have all been supportive, however. Many people reached out to offer help or wanting to know about what I had."
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