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AIBU to hide my health problems from friends and wider family?

(12 Posts)
candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 21-Jan-17 20:04:29

I'm quite private and I find it difficult talking about my health face-to-face. When I first got ill/physically disabled some years ago, it was obvious and so people knew. Recently, I've been ill and had lots of invasive tests and multiple hospital appointments. I've had a new diagnosis, quite serious, but not life threatening and nothing like cancer. People know I'm "not well" in general but think it's due to the disease that I was diagnosed with a while ago. A handful of people know; a few close family member, one friend and my manager at work. I haven't even told my dad. I just don't feel comfortable sharing. I'm still getting my head around this new diagnosis and what it means for me. I spend a lot of time thinking about it, I don't want to talk about it.

My partner is amazingly supportive and wants me to get support from my friends. If they knew, they'd come over, help with things, come with me to hospital appointments and check in on me regularly. I don't want this though. I rarely let him come to appointments, I just go alone and get on with it. He's worried that I'm being secretive and will get depressed again. AIBU to keep this to myself?

Mum2jenny Sat 21-Jan-17 20:08:22

I'd be the same as you candy, it makes the illness seem more real if people know. And I am a very private person and do not like ppl knowing my business.

Ilovecaindingle Sat 21-Jan-17 20:11:19

Maybe select 1 friend to disclose to on the condition that its only mentioned when you choose.? Your dh sounds like he is doing a good job but maybe he feels you are missing out not having the chance for a womans support /opinion?

ZippyNeedsFeeding Sat 21-Jan-17 20:11:37

It's your illness and your decision. Sometimes telling people means that you are cast in the role of Sick Person or (worse) Poor Soul. People can be well meaning but very trying if you just want to get on with things. You will know when the time is right for you to tell people, if it ever is. It should be up to you and nobody else.

Hadjab Sat 21-Jan-17 20:12:26

Think about your partner for a moment. He's having to deal with your illness with a very limited circle of support. Try opening up to others, if not for yourself - and there may come a point when you will need more support than you're getting now - at least try for him.

MatildaTheCat Sat 21-Jan-17 20:13:07

Do what works for you. I share very selectively. I suspect that gradually you will tell more people but it's entirely personal.

Pettywoman Sat 21-Jan-17 20:16:05

You know it is your choice and what you feel comfortable with.

I am inclined to agree with your DH though. A wider support network might be helpful. Your friends would get the chance to understand any odd behaviour stemming from your condition rather than thinking you're being 'off'.

All in your own time. If you're struggling with your health and diagnosis at least you have a DH to help and support until you're able to talk about it. You know you don't have to suffer alone, illness is nothing to be ashamed of and good friends will be understanding.

JaceLancs Sat 21-Jan-17 20:17:13

I completely understand as I have major health issues which I find easier to deal with if I keep private some are quite personal like incontinence and bowel issues and people can ask very embarrassing questions
I really only share most of it with DP and my adult DC

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 21-Jan-17 20:19:58

Thanks for your thoughts, I'm taking this all on board. I do worry about being seen as a sick person and further losing my identity. I just want to be me. On the other hand, I take your points (and DP's) about needing support. At the moment, it's all a bit raw. DP's mum is a big source of support and she knows. She's been supporting us as a family. I don't mind him sharing and he has told a friend of his. It's just the thought of facing people and saying the words. I don't know if a text is the right way either.

Piratefairy78 Sat 21-Jan-17 21:07:23

YANBU. I also have a health issue like Jane. My DH knows, my manager knows and some people know a small part. It's not something I want broadcasted and really don't want to talk about it. I see it very much as a need to know basis. Thinking about it my manager probably knows more than DH as I've been off work recently. He knows I'll say more when I need/want too.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 21-Jan-17 23:04:09

Yeah, a part of it is that I don't want to talk about my bladder and bowels with my friends. It's undignified. Also, I just don't need support from anyone at the moment. I'm focusing on all the treatment, meds and physio and just getting better. On the other hand, I'd be upset if a friend was in my shoes and felt they couldn't tell me. I'm quite torn.

zukiecat Sun 22-Jan-17 11:40:13

I'm exactly the same, I have a number of health conditions and I don't like talking to anyone about them either, not even my close friend

I was diagnosed 18 months ago with a serious condition, but like you OP, nothing like cancer but which does require lifelong treatment

Obviously people knew that I was ill when diagnosed as I was in hospital for a few weeks, but I never talk about it to anyone, other than doctors and nurses

Recently been diagnosed with something else, but I'll be keeping that to myself too

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