Feeling isolated, alone or depressed is a very common reaction to any illness. It is not necessarily being alone but rather feeling alone despite having others around you. Loneliness can stem from feeling that nobody understands what you are going through, or that you are somehow different from others or abnormal.
Sometimes it is important and necessary to be on your own. This allows you time to think and reflect. But choosing to be on your own and feeling isolated are two very different things. The danger of isolating yourself is that negativity can build up with no-one to counteract it. Then you may feel worse and, as a consequence, get worse and so a vicious circle can develop.
It is important to be aware of this downward spiral. If you find it happening it may help to seek contact with someone rather than cut yourself off. If you find yourself feeling isolated and don't have anyone that you feel you are able to contact, then please see our Support section.
Wherever possible, try to maintain your usual contacts. You may need to make adjustments if you have less energy, less money or feel less active. But, as far as possible, keep in contact with those people who have been important to you. Sometimes it is enough to have just one or two close friends who are there for you.
Another important feature of being isolated is that it can cut you off from essential information about the disease, about treatment and about places to get help. Stay in touch with healthcare professionals, and hepatitis C related organisations and support groups so that you can stay informed.
If you don't have people who are able to understand how you are affected by hepatitis C, then you may need to look for support in new relationships. For example, if you are fortunate enough to have a hepatitis C support or self help group in your area you may consider contacting them. Very often they facilitate drop-ins or meetings where you can meet others with hepatitis C. Sharing information and concerns can alleviate some of the loneliness and isolation.