Primary immunodeficiency: Tips for easing stress
Living with a primary immunodeficiency disorder can be stressful.
Primary immunodeficiency disorders weaken the immune system, which makes it easier for you to develop an infection. In addition to dealing with pain or discomfort caused by an infection, you might need to miss work, family gatherings and recreational activities as you recover. This can cause frustration, anger and isolation. A lack of awareness about primary immunodeficiency also can make you feel misunderstood.
However, learning about your condition, building a support system and setting priorities can help you cope.
Educate yourself and others
Learning about your condition, and sharing information with others, can be empowering. To get started:
- Make a list of questions about your condition. Write your questions down and discuss them with your doctor. Ask what steps you can take to improve your health.
- Consider educating those around you about your condition. Talk about your condition with others to raise awareness and correct misconceptions. For example, people who don't know much about primary immunodeficiency might unintentionally minimize your condition by saying that you don't look sick. Others might struggle to understand that what might be a mild respiratory illness for them or their children could have serious consequences for you.
Explain how your condition affects you. Sharing information about primary immunodeficiency might help people to be less judgmental and fearful.
March 29, 2016
See more In-depth
- Blaese RM, et al., eds. Young adults living with primary immunodeficiency diseases. In: Immune Deficiency Foundation Patient and Family Handbook: For Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases. 5th ed. Towson, Md.: Immune Deficiency Foundation; 2013. http://primaryimmune.org/patient-family-handbook/. Accessed March 3, 2016.
- Coping with a diagnosis of a chronic illness. http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/chronic-illness.aspx. American Psychological Association. Accessed March 7, 2016.