Telling others about your Hep C diagnosis is not easy. Sharing with others is personal and you only have to share with those whom you feel comfortable with. But sharing is freeing. You don’t have to hold this in and feel isolated. Isolation in itself creates stress and effects you mentality and emotionally, which in turn can also affect you physically.
Though there is still some stigma associated with Hepatitis C, this is based on false information. It’s important to know the facts and myths of how Hep C transmitted. But no matter how you contracted Hep C, the main and most important step to concentrate on is taking care of yourself and getting treatment.
Majority of people often don’t know the facts about Hepatitis C and liver disease. Sharing with others about your Hep C diagnosis not only educates them but can encourage them to get tested, which in turn can save a life.
Here are some suggestions on who to share with first then continue sharing as you feel comfortable.
- Share with your spouse or sweetheart.
- Share with your close family and friends.
- Share with your employer and fellow employees when you feel comfortable and if you’re going through treatment. Share with those whom you are with on a regular basis.
- Share with others you know.
- Share with the community if you desire, for example; church, school, sign up for a 5 k American Liver Foundation community walk, social media, start a blog. Share with your neighbors.
What do you say? Share the news of how you found out:
Did you receive the news from a blood test from your doctor? Did you receive the news because you donated blood and was contacted by the donation center? Etc….,, Here’s a suggestion; “I received some news the other day from __________ and they told me a test showed I have Hepatitis C. I’m following up with a doctor and here’s what I found out about Hepatitis C? Here’s the facts and myths I learned.
They might ask you how you contracted Hep C. You may or may not know. Don’t stress about this. Many people are curious but you don’t have to tell anyone how you got Hep C unless you want to. There are many people who never know how they contracted Hep C, and it’s not how you got Hep C that matters, it’s what are you going to do about it. Being under a liver disease specialist care like a Hepatologist or Gastroenterologist for further testing, and treatment is what matters.
Educating others about the Facts and Myths about Hep C is huge. Majority of people after hearing the facts say, “I had no idea. I’m glad to know the facts.” Stress and questions are relieved from both others and from you. People often respond with care and concern. Others can also be encouraged to seek testing themselves which is very wise and proactive. The more people are educated about Hep C and get tested the more people can get treated and lives are saved.
Sharing can help save a life! Never underestimate the power of sharing. Sharing also builds your support system, which is vital in your treatment and healing process.
Have you told others about your Hep C? Who did you tell? What did you say?
This entry was originally published on Life Beyond Hepatitis C, and is reprinted with permission.