How Does Having Hepatitis C Affect People Emotionally?
A hep C diagnosis can take a toll, but learning about effective treatment can go a long way in calming fears.
Learn about the emotional impact of a hep C diagnosis from Lanla Conteh, M.D., clinical associate professor of hepatology and gastroenterology at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, in Columbus, OH.
Emotionally, hepatitis C is a hard diagnosis for people to deal with, and that is completely understandable. I have had many patients come to my clinic very distressed when they learn that they have hepatitis C, especially when they don't know how they may have gotten infected with the virus.
Unfortunately, there tends to be a stigma associated with hepatitis C. What we try to do is reassure patients. Yes, you may have hepatitis C today, but we know that we can cure it. Importantly, when it's cured, you don't have any long-term effects if we catch it early enough and we treat it early enough.
We certainly respect that there's a big emotional stress and distress, that comes along with this diagnosis. We hope that better treatment, more importantly, better screening can help us all manage this better and help patients in managing that emotional distress.