Know that they care about you and that their support will help you.
You may find it hard to tell others that you have a chronic illness. You may worry that they will not want to know about it or that they will judge you. You may feel embarrassed about your illness. These are normal feelings. Thinking about telling people can be harder than actually telling them.
Know that people will react in different ways. They may be:
- Nervous. Some people might not know what to say, or they might worry they will say the wrong thing. Let them know that there is no right way to react and no perfect thing to say.
- Helpful. They know someone else with the same illness so they are familiar with what is going on for you.
Know that you need everyone’s support.
You may look and feel fine most of the time. But at some point, you may feel ill or have less energy. You may not be able to work as hard, or you may need to take breaks for self-care. When this happens, you want people to know about your illness so they understand what is going on.
Tell people about your illness to keep you safe. If you have a medical emergency, you want people to know what is going on. For example:
- If you have epilepsy your co-workers should know what to do if you have a seizure.
- If you have diabetes, they should know what the symptoms of low blood sugar are and what to do.