Hepatitis and Depression
Wrong thoughts that create depression
Over and over again on an almost daily basis people have rung our UK helpline or contacted us from all over the world with the same wrong ideas that cause them great sorrow after being diagnosed. We take time with each patient to ask if they suffer from these common misunderstandings, namely
I have something a 100 times more sexually infectious than HIV, don't I?
This wrong thought can cause anyone who thinks it depression, so it is very important to remember, HBV is only more infectious in blood to a wound, not sexually. It is less infectious and often not infectious at all sexually that is the correct thought. So many just diagnosed patients suffer terror thinking they must have infected all their loved ones and are surprised when 9 out of 10 of them have not even infected their partners. Once you are diagnosed you will not infect anyone, you get them HBV vaccinated and protected from all the HBV on Earth, so it is better to know and protect people. Yes we have learnt blood is a very dangerous substance and it needs to be bleach cleaned with gloves on every time and sharing razors is dangerous, but like all wisdom it is better to know.
No one will want me now?
Why ever not? There is an excellent vaccine for HBV that everyone should have. Remember more than 1 in 4 people on Earth have had HBV at some point and it is nothing like HIV which has no vaccine. We have had hundreds of people call us saying this and most are now married to partners they can never infect. Do not let chances for marriage and love pass you by because of this wrong thought, tell people they need to be vaccinated.
I will die young won't I?
So many patients assume this is how it will be, but most have normal fully healthy liver function tests pointing to a normal life span. If we are diagnosed in good health we have every opportunity to eat the right food to avoid the wrong toxins and look after our livers. Remember HBV is very slow to harm and takes 30 to 40 years to do so, we have LIver Experts in the UK who are in a position to make sure they do not. If ever there is a sign of activity they can easily remove HBV from the blood stream with a simple daily pill. Especially with inactive patients and most of us are inactive most of us are heading towards growing old and dying of that. Also we are in a world where in front of our eyes they are developing better and better medicines for HBV.
I will get odds on fatal Liver Cancer one day won't I?
Only 5 to 10% develop this cancer and generally they spent decades taking the wrong drugs, taking the wrong alcohol, having the wrong weight. You are in a position to avoid all these mistakes and look after your liver, Liver Cancer is not "waiting" for you, it usually takes all sorts on developing liver damage for years before it arises and if you have none now you can avoid all that.
People will think I am a Drug Addict or Sex Mad?
Again it is wrong to put thoughts into other peoples heads, 1 in 4 humans have caught hepatitis mainly as children and most often from healthcare, we need to know this and be ready to explain it to others. We are the people with hepatitis and over many years we find the patients who cannot explain or understand their infection are the ones who imagine the worst of others. Be brave and tell people about hepatitis do not be quiet and let them think for themselves.
General Emotional Advice
Try not to feel guilty, Remember 1 in 3 humans have caught this bug
Don't feel infectious teach loved ones vaccination, safe sex and blood hygiene
Many patients find HBV or HCV makes them live longer, healthier lives
Try to learn about Hepatitis B and how it is managed.
Understand your level of infection, if it is inactive and low risk it is good to know quick
If your liver is fine, you have a life of health and happiness to plan for, don't forget.