It is normal and natural for relationships to change over time. Becoming sick with a chronic illness, can mean relationships are likely to change suddenly. And it is sudden changes that we notice and that can be concerning. Talking about what you’re going through with friends and family can help them to understand why things are changing.
“if your family, friend or partner understands more about what you are going through, especially in the long-term, it can make a positive difference to you and your relationship.”
A guide for talking to your loved ones about your condition.
- Decide to tell them when there are no distractions and there is enough time not to rush.
- Explain the general physical changes of the condition.
- Provide written resources if they need to process what you have said later.
- Discuss how the chronic illness has impacted you personally, physically and emotionally.
- Tell them as much or as little as you or they feel comfortable with.
- Understand that they may not react how you expect – they may be empathetic or have no concept or understanding of chronic conditions.
- Be prepared to have further conversations with them if needed.
Adapted from Jean Hailes for Women’s Health.