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Mental Health--Overview

for Veterans and the Public

Mental Health: Overview - Hepatitis C for Patients

If you are diagnosed with hepatitis C, your physical health is not the only issue you have to deal with. Along with the physical illness are mental health conditions that may come up. (Mental health refers to the overall well-being of a person, including a person's mood, emotions, and behavior.)

Having hepatitis C can have an impact on several areas of your life.

Many people are surprised when they learn that they have been diagnosed with hepatitis C. Some people feel overwhelmed by the changes that doctors say they should make in their lives.

It is completely normal to have strong reactions when you find out you have hepatitis C, including feelings such as fear, anger, and a sense of being overwhelmed. Often people feel helpless, sad, and anxious about the illness.

Some things to keep in mind about your feelings:
  • No matter what you are feeling, you have a right to feel that way.
  • There are no "wrong" or "right" feelings--feelings just are.
  • Feelings come and go.
  • You have choices about how you respond to your feelings.

There are things you can do to deal with the emotional aspects of having hepatitis C. What follows are some of the most common feelings associated with a diagnosis of hepatitis C and suggestions on how to cope with these feelings.