At HealthCentral, we know the importance of sharing the stories of people living with chronic conditions. We understand that your diagnosis doesn’t define you and that your experiences are unique. Sharing your story about living with a disease can change the course of the disease itself. Here are reasons why you should share your story about living with a chronic illness.
Many of the people here in the HealthCentral community have expressed that when they first received their diagnosis, they felt alone. They felt ashamed of their disease and retreated into themselves. But once they opened up about their condition, they were able to be much more proactive about both their health and relationships. Sharing your story in any way can be therapeutic as it encourages you to address both the challenges and triumphs that come with living with a disease. Sharing your story can empower you to find your voice.
It helps others
Sharing your story about living with a chronic illness – whatever stage you may be – can help others living with the condition, too. You are not alone, and you can help others feel less alone by sharing your experiences. There is something about connecting with people who have the same condition as you – they understand things that others may not get and by helping others, you in turn can feel less alone.
It builds awareness
Much of the stigma that comes with diseases can be tackled by building awareness around the condition. Misconceptions about a disease can be cleared by you sharing your personal story. What are some things you wish people knew? How do you feel about how your disease is portrayed in the media? We can start to dismantle stigma around chronic illness by elevating the voices of people living with the conditions, like your own.
How to share your story
There are several ways that you can share your own experiences living with a chronic condition on HealthCentral, ranging from a simple spoken piece of advice you’d give your younger self, to a more in depth written or spoken reflection on how your condition has affected your life, and how you manage it every day.
Look at examples of others’ stories below to see how you can share:
Big Picture: Show how your condition is only one part of the “bigger picture” of your life. Photograph format. Memo to Me: What advice would you give your younger self about living with a chronic health condition? Short video format. ** MyStory:** More in-depth reflections on how your condition has affected your life. Text format with images, and video.
Yumhee Park is a former content producer for HealthCentral.com.