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Emotional Health

Part of becoming independent is understanding the impact your bleeding disorder has on you and learning how to deal with that impact. Most discussions about bleeding disorders focus on the physical consequences, but the emotional effect shouldn’t be downplayed or ignored.

Understanding Emotions

Emotions affect your quality of life and how you view and treat yourself. If you have a bleeding disorder, you may have an added emotional burden.

People react to their emotions or feelings in many ways, but sometimes your emotions may be so deeply hidden that you’re unaware of your true feelings. You may turn inward, blaming yourself for misfortune, or you may become depressed; you may lash out at others or withdraw from society, becoming gloomy and not communicate with others. You may not experience any of these emotions. You may experience a little bit here and there. Or you may experience a lot.

Remember: your emotions and their intensity may change at various stages of your life.

Common Emotions

You might be feeling:

  • Angry
  • Sad
  • Alone or Lonely
  • Fatigued
  • Stressed
  • Guilty
  • Helpless or Hopeless
  • Confused
  • Resentful
  • Empty
  • Rebellious
  • Awkward

Here are facts to remember about your feelings:

  • You’re not alone. If you’re going through something, there's a good chance that someone else has, and probably is, experiencing the same thing right now.
  • Your emotions and feelings are very real. Pay attention to them; you can work through them. You’ll be much better off in the long run.
  • Is what you’re going through because of your bleeding disorder, or because life as a young adult is just hard sometimes? Many of the emotions and feelings you’re experiencing are very normal for this time in your life. Almost every aspect of your life may be changing, both externally and internally. It makes sense that you have fairly high emotional reactions to life.
  • Accepting and managing your emotions are not easy or quick processes. That said, the quicker you accept and take charge of your emotions and feelings, the quicker you’ll feel better about life, and the easier it will be to deal with those emotions.
  • Create a network of friends who will support you. Find someone you can talk to. Adult or peer, it may be someone who gives advice or it may be just someone who will sit and listen. Remember the many social networks you may be part of. They can be a source of support.
  • Work with the rule makers. Now is the time you’re learning to be your own person. If you feel stifled by rules, regulations, and guidelines, work with your parents, teachers, and coaches. Negotiate. Gain their trust. They may give you more independence.

How Do You Get Out of a Funk?

  • Communicate with someone.
    • Let them know what’s going on. You’re not alone in whatever you are feeling.
  • Get out and do something.
    • Even if you just go to and sit in the mall, library, student center, or quad.
    • Downtime can worsen negative feelings.
    • For example: If you have a bleed you might feel bad, so you sit and mope on the couch. As you sit and mope, you can’t stop thinking about how bad you feel. Then, you begin to feel worse…and so on.
  • Focus on the good things in your life.
    • Make time to do fun things that make you feel good.
    • Take on the challenge of trying a new hobby, learn a new language, or write poetry.
  • Work with your local Hemophilia Treatment Center (HTC) or local bleeding disorder chapter.
    • Many times they will have social events you may wish to attend; maybe you can even volunteer at events.
    • Talk to a social worker or counselor. They will have experience and will be able to explain what you’re going through and advise you on how to deal with it.

Find Your Silver Lining

Managing a bleeding disorder impacts you and the lives of those you love. It may seem overwhelming at times but managing a bleeding disorder can also bring opportunities for building confidence and strengthening relationships.

In this video, you’ll hear the personal experiences of those who have not only met the challenges of managing a bleeding disorder but have reaped the benefits of a positive outlook.