Trauma and Hep C
Last updated: February 2022
When we think of trauma, we usually think of the trauma unit in a hospital, or a physical event. I am sure many of you understand that it is not just a physical manifestation; The emotional trauma that people experience can be just as damaging, and in many cases, it does not heal without treatment, not to mention rest, recuperation, and therapy.
Typical forms of trauma
We are all familiar with the term "PTSD" (post-traumatic stress disorder) and have some idea of what a terrible condition it is for the people who are suffering with it. Until not so long ago it was a term mostly used when describing what soldiers experienced after combat. Sometimes, personal injury such as limb loss accompanies their PTSD. We are all at least familiar with how destructive PTSD can be for those affected, including their families who struggle to understand and cope themselves.
Can hepatitis C cause trauma?
I am of the opinion and belief that in some people, hep C is a cause of trauma. It has the doubled impact of physical and emotional/psychological impacts. We are all familiar with the stigma, and you know I have written exhaustively about its destructive and damaging ability. I am not suggesting that hep C, in itself, is a cause for PTSD, but I use it as an example of the connection between the physical and emotional when it comes to trauma.
The effects of trauma
In recent conversations with peers, the topic of trauma has been weaving its way into the discourse. A friend recently shared an insight into the trauma experiences that can lead people to certain "behaviors", such as drug use had led to hep C. For example, child abuse, both emotional and physical, is traumatic. The long-term effects can vary, but the trauma of any abuse, drug use, alcohol addiction, homelessness, or other challenging life experiences can shape how we fight disease, function socially, hold down employment, etc.
You may be asking why I am writing about trauma, and I get it. If you are one of the people who has lived a safe life, free of trauma of any kind, it may be alien entirely. I am not suggesting that anyone take on the persona as a victim because of their hep C diagnosis, we are not all the same. Feelings matter, and how we are affected by disease and life events matters, and that is why it is becoming harder for me to separate the two. If you think you are struggling with the effects of trauma in this context or any other, I would encourage you to ask for help, I have.
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