Navigating Life With An Embarassing Illness

Navigating Life With An Embarassing Illness

Having any kind of illness can be unsettling and distressing at the best of times. In some cases, it can take over your life, as you have to be mindful of it on all occasions, whether you have to take medication or apply some other kind of treatment to yourself. It can also result in many hospital visits, unpleasant remedies and in some cases, even operations. But there is another type of illness and disease that can cause a person issues for a whole other reason, and this kind of illness is one that is embarrassing. Having a condition that embarrasses you can be incredibly detrimental to your quality of life, as anyone with such an illness will tell you.

Embarrassing illnesses can be the root cause of bullying in school and even in the workplace, and can seriously hinder a person’s self-confidence. Thus, their ability to lead a normal life is immediately reduced, in comparison to someone who doesn’t have their condition. If you are currently living with a condition that embarrasses you, remember that you don’t have to resign yourself to it for the rest of your life. There are usually treatments available, and even changes you can make to your lifestyle that can minimize the effects your illness has on your day to day life.

The first step is visiting your doctor. You might find this cringeworthy as it is but remember: your doctor will have seen it all before, and then some. All your doctor’s appointments are strictly confidential, so you don’t need to worry about word getting out. Once you have been checked over, you will be able to be assigned to a treatment path that will hopefully deal with the issue at hand and set you on your way to living a normal, more confident life. Here are some of the most common ’embarrassing’ illnesses that more people than you would think live with, and what you can do if you are a sufferer.

bad breath

Bad breath

Bad breath is also known by its medical name of halitosis, which is a recognized condition. Of course, we all have bad breath from time to time, if we forget our toothbrush on the weekend away or if we eat something particularly smelly (garlic bread, we’re looking at you). But people with continued halitosis may have an underlying medical reason behind their bad breath, regardless of what they have eaten (in comparison to people without the disorder). This can make a person incredibly self-conscious and can even affect their ability to form long-lasting relationships. Always visit your doctor to check that you don’t have an underlying condition that is causing your halitosis, as this may require a specific course of treatment. Aside from that, make sure you commit to a strict dental hygiene regime. That means brushing and flossing at least twice a day and using an alcohol-free mouthwash.


We usually think of incontinence as something that affects older people. While this is true to a certain extent (senior folks are at a greater risk of becoming incontinent), incontinence can affect people of any age. There are some different types of the disorder, all of which are caused by different things. For example, urge incontinence is caused by overactive detrusor muscles, which are the muscles that control the bladder. Other types of incontinence can be caused by issues during pregnancy, obesity or even a family history of the condition. If you have noticed you have recently become incontinent, it can be very embarrassing and can make you nervous about leaving the house. The vital thing to do first is to visit your doctor, as they will be able to check whether anything is seriously wrong with you (such as a blockage in your urinary tract). Medication and lifestyle changes can both be recommended as a way to treat incontinence, depending on which type you have. In the meantime, however, your doctor may recommend that you try male and female incontinence pads. If you try various preventative measures to no effect, you may be put forward for surgery to cure your incontinence.



When you hear the word ‘acne,’ what do you think of? Usually, the image that appears in most people’s heads is that of a spotty, greasy teenager. But contrary to popular belief, acne is not something that purely affects the younger generation. Adult acne is on the rise, and some sufferers have to deal with the effects even late on into their adult lives. It can make you very self-conscious, and you may try to cover the affected areas with makeup in order to mask the symptoms. However, by doing this, you could only be worsening the condition. Acne is caused when sebum builds up in the skin, which is what creates the oily sheen many acne sufferers have on the top of their skin. It might be hard to do so, but try and avoid wearing a lot of makeup and allow your skin to breathe. On a similar note, you may also be tempted to squeeze or pick your spots. Try not to, as this could worsen them and you could be left with permanent scarring. If you get tempted to touch your face, try and distract yourself with something like a game on your phone or an item in your pocket you can play with, such as a stress ball. Visit your doctor, who may be able to prescribe you with dermatological face washes (providing that drugstore bought ones haven’t worked for you). You may also want to consider your diet and lifestyle in relation your acne – if you eat a lot of fast food and don’t drink enough water, you are automatically putting yourself at a greater risk of developing acne. All of these disorders can be distressing, but there is no reason why they need to take over your life. Your illness is only as embarrassing as you think it is, so look into some of these measures and take back control of your own life.


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