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Fitting In


Most middle and high school students want to fit in and have an active and fun social life. But feeling different around friends and classmates can be hard. Some kids with a bleeding disorder — or any other chronic condition for that matter — may want to keep their illness a secret. However, hiding a condition can cause problems as well. In this next section, we’ll cover some important issues:

  • The benefits of disclosing your condition
  • Who really needs to know?

Disclosure: Should I Tell?

To tell or not to tell. That’s the core question. In truth, you may be surprised at how accepting your friends and classmates can be. When talking to friends about your bleeding disorder, it can sometimes help to explain that everyone is made differently. Some people have blue eyes or red hair due to genetics, and your condition is genetic as well.

Teachers, coaches, and school counselors who know about your bleeding disorder might try to help you by being overly protective. If this bothers you, talk to them and tell them how you feel. Explaining the facts about your bleeding disorder can help them understand how much you’re capable of and let them see you as a student or athlete, not just a patient.

Tips for Talking About Your Bleeding Disorder

  • If you’re hesitant to disclose the details of your bleeding disorder with friends, know that you are not alone.
  • It’s a normal part of adolescence for teens to worry about what they should look like, how they should behave, peer pressure, and bullying.
  • Flaws may seem bigger in your mind than they really are. You might feel invincible and want to ignore your bleeding disorder or be less willing to share with friends that you have one. Remember: everyone is different and no one is perfect!


  • Feel better about themselves and their medical conditions when they open up to friends.
  • Are more likely to infuse, less likely to ignore bleeds, and less likely to get injuries from dangerous activities when they tell their friends about their disorder.
  • — Health Education and Behavior. 2003
A bleeding disorder doesn’t define who a person is. But accepting that it’s a part of who you are is part of growing up.

Social Web Tips for Teens

Technology is a great way to connect with friends, learn more about your bleeding disorder, and help to make you feel less isolated. The Internet is an invaluable tool, as long as you take a few precautions.

Here are a few tips about using social Web sites:

  • Think before you post. Sharing intimate details online can cause problems later on. Whatever you put out there can be seen by anyone and is very hard to retract.
  • Be careful when talking with strangers. Be cautious when communicating with people you haven’t met in person, especially if the conversation turns to physical details. While you may be able to tell if someone is trustworthy in person by looking at their facial expressions or body gestures, it is very hard to do so online.
  • Avoid in-person meetings. Getting together with someone you met online can be dangerous. If someone you met online wants to meet in person, tell a parent, guardian, or trusted adult.
  • Be cautious if social networking sites want to access your public profile: this includes current city or whereabouts, friend lists, email address, relationship interests, birthday, and likes.
  • Be smart when using a cell phone. All the same tips apply with phones as with computers.