Support for one who has chronic hepatitis is important. Physical, emotional and long-term support may be needed.
Having chronic hepatitis can affect a person's emotional life.
- Tell someone. You are under no obligation to tell anyone including your employer of your HCV status. Be prepared for possible lack of acceptance. Some may think that you are contagious, others may have heard that HCV is the disease that junkies get.
- Find support. It will be important to create a family-and-friends support structure. There are also online support groups and some cities have support meetings.
- Learn to deal with depression, mood changes, irritability and a lower energy level.
When dealing with a chronic disease, the most important thing is acceptance. Realize that you may experience pain and discomfort. There may be emotional hurt that needs to be expressed. Take responsibility for yourself and your health.
How to help a friend or family member who has hepatitis C
- You cannot cure your family member, but you can help.
- Accept the illness and the person.
- Separate the person from the virus.
- Separate side effects from the person.
- No one is to blame.
- Revise expectations. Diseases are part of life.
- Chronic illness in a family affects the entire family.
- Symptoms may change over time -- for better or worse.
- Let the person know you care.
- Seek counseling and support if needed.
Online support groups, Usenet groups and mailing list
Yahoo! Groups - HepatitisC
This is for people who have or people who know someone who has hepatitis C. It's intended for support and information.
Yahoo! Groups - CANHepC List
This is a Canadian based support group that provides a friendly supportive place where members share information and personal experiences with hepatitis C. Everyone is encouraged to research and discuss topics related to managing and living with HCV.
The Hepatitis Usenet Group - sci.med.diseases.hepatitis
This is a discussion group where you can post questions or just browse through the various postings. It is accessed through your e-mail program.
Mailing List - HEPV-L Mailing List
This is a mailing list that will send you postings. Be careful to specify if you want all postings e-mailed to you, information only postings or a digest combined into a daily e-mail.
Searching the Internet will provide current information on support groups either online or in a person's geographic area.