Whether you have been diagnosed with cancer, you’re losing your hearing, or you’re struggling with in vitro fertilization, talking about your health struggles with others can be hard. It’s normal not to want people to view you differently, and you may not want to come across as someone who likes to complain. However, it’s important to talk about your health struggles with others.
That doesn’t mean you have to talk to everyone, and it doesn’t mean you have to talk about every detail of your condition. There are great reasons to talk with your closest friends and family about your health in a way that’s comfortable for you.
Those You Love Want to Know
You may be tempted to keep your health struggles to yourself because you don’t want to burden those you care about with your condition. Although it’s normal to feel that way, it’s also important to understand that isn’t the case at all. The people who care about you the most want to know what’s going on.
Tell close family members and friends what you’re struggling with. They may feel a little sad or worried, but they will also be thankful that you shared your struggles with them. Not only are you doing them a favor by telling them, it also has the potential to bring you closer together. Sharing and working through difficult times together often brings family and friends closer.
Receive Love and Support
It can feel like you’re all alone when you’re dealing with a medical challenge. Although there are many things you can do to recover without the help from others, the fact is, the best recoveries are the ones that include friends and family members.
Even if you only tell one or two trusted members of your inner circle, those people can provide you with love and support. They can offer words of encouragement if you’re undergoing treatment, they can provide you with rides whenever you have to go to the doctor, and they can help you manage other areas of your life that might be impacted by your condition.
It can also provide you with someone to spend time with. It’s normal to feel antisocial when you’re facing a health challenge, but you’re more likely to hang out with others when those people know what’s going on.
Get Advice and Recommendations
There are a lot of things you have to do when looking for a good doctor. You have to:
- Check your insurance
- Consider hospital affiliation
- Ask if they work with drug reps
- Research malpractice and disciplinary actions
- Look for board certification
Compatibility is important too, but it can be nearly impossible to ascertain by doing an internet search. It’s much better if you can get a recommendation from others.
Reach out to others who struggle with their health, or find a community of people online who have similar health struggles as you. They can not only help you find a great doctor, they may be able to provide you with advice on your condition if it’s something they struggle with too.
The stigma of mental health can be difficult to overcome, but there is stigma attached to health conditions as well. For example, many women find it difficult to talk about reproductive issues, while some feel like they caused their condition, so why would anyone else want to help?
Just talking about your struggles can help release the stigma, encouraging you to talk about it more, but it can also encourage others to open up too. You’ll find more people who are struggling with the same health challenges you are, providing you and others with more support.
Take a Weight Off Your Shoulders
Even in the absence of everything else on this list, telling one other person about what is going on with you can take a huge weight off of your shoulders.
There’s just something about talking about our problems that makes us feel better. It can make you feel like you aren’t alone, taking away the burden of knowing and dealing with your medical challenges by yourself.
If you aren’t comfortable talking with a friend or a loved one, consider seeing a therapist or a counselor instead. Just talking to them about your condition and your mental health can make you feel a lot better.
Don’t bottle up your health struggles because you don’t want to burden anyone. Your loved ones want to be filled in on what’s going on with you. Plus, they can provide you with the support you need to move forward.