Telling your loved ones, you are sick…

December 4, 2019 Health and Wellness

Telling your loved ones, you are sick…

Speaking about your diagnosis can be a very difficult thing especially when you are learning to cope with the diagnosis yourself. The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. There is no right way to talk about your diagnosis, it can be confusing and upsetting. Friends and family may react differently to how you would have expected and those who you may not expect will become part of your positive support system.

Telling a partner/spouse

Your partner or spouse will most likely be the first person that you will want to tell. They will be your main caregiver/support system and be there through the journey of your diagnosis. Honesty will be key to helping you both communicate how you are feeling and for your spouse or partner to best understand how they can help you. It can be difficult for someone who has found out their loved one is sick, so be patient and understand they will respond in different ways.

Telling a children

As parents or role models in children’s lives we like to protect them from being exposed to the bad parts of the world, this includes telling children you are sick. Children pick up on most things and can usually notice if someone is acting differently. It can be more upsetting for a child to find out later than being told what is happening from the beginning. Talk calmly and clearly, it’s important to understand how much detail you can give. This will help with how you shape the conversation. It can also help to have your partner with you there to support you and any questions that your children may ask. You may even wish to have your medical professional with you as they will have dealt with situations like this before. Lastly, ask them how they feel. Hearing someone they love is sick can bring up a variety of emotions that are better spoken about than left to overthink.

Telling a teen

Explaining a diagnosis to a teen can be very difficult as they already may have a mixture of stress from hormones, school, or their first relationship. However, a calm explanation of what is going on can help them understand the situation and explain why a past situation or incidences may not have made sense e.g. why grandma might be acting a certain way is not normal to you, it is the illness making her forgetful. You may not be able to predict how they are going to react, so just give reassurances that you will be open and honest throughout the whole process.

Telling a friend

Be honest with your friends they will be your support system and be there for the good days and bad days. It is up to you how much detail you wish to tell your friends. Keeping a positive circle around you can help with your treatment, appointments, side effects, and everything your illness will throw at you. Tell them about how you are feeling and if you are worried about anything. Your friends are there to help and try to make things as easy as possible for you in this tough time.