What To Do When Your Health Condition Is A Source Of Embarrassment



Embarrassment is a feeling of self-consciousness or shame that many of us are all too familiar with. This feeling is usually unpleasant around others and can be emotionally painful, especially when you feel uncomfortable with yourself because of your health condition. 

Unfortunately, embarrassment comes with mental suffering when you’re already dealing with a health condition. Those with a health condition may feel embarrassed at times, no matter what the condition is. Here are reasons why you may feel embarrassed and how to overcome this feeling. 

Feeling Imperfect 

Any health condition can cause the feeling of embarrassment because you, as a human, are not perfect. Most people have unrealistic expectations about wellness, appearances, and health. Every day people are told through television, advertising, and more that perfect health is a personal choice. Consider obesity: many people would say that obesity is in your power to control with the right diet and exercise. However, this isn’t always the case, despite what we’re told. 

Cultural messages such as these can be internalized, especially by those suffering from a chronic illness. When your life doesn’t turn out the way you feel it’s supposed to, or you’re being weighed down by the idea of perfection, you might feel embarrassed or ashamed even if you haven’t done anything wrong. 

This embarrassment comes from the unrealistic standards that we and society have set for ourselves when it comes to health. 

How Can You Overcome It?

Remind yourself that pain and illness are, in fact, a natural part of being a human. Everyone deals with pain and sickness in one way or another, even if they don’t have a chronic health condition. When it comes to struggling with a chronic condition or any other health issue, there’s no reason to feel ashamed. 

EmbarrassRelying on Others 

Relying on others can make anyone feel embarrassed. A mom might feel embarrassed about calling her parents for help when she’s overwhelmed with the children. Similarly, someone with a particular health condition may feel embarrassed when they need help with everyday tasks or have to take certain medications to feel “normal”. 

While we should all value self-sufficiency, relying on others is necessary for everyone. Humans are social animals, and without teamwork and loved ones, we wouldn’t be who we are today. Everyone relies on someone else, whether it’s related to their health or not. 

Unfortunately, those with a health condition may need to ask for more help than others, making them feel embarrassed because they’re not self-sufficient. 

How Can You Overcome It?

Remind yourself that everyone depends on others, and it comes with being part of a family, friendship, or relationship. Your friends and family are your friends and family for a reason: they’d do anything for you without judgment. 

Inability to Blend In

If your health condition requires you to have special accommodations like a wheelchair, a special diet, accommodations at school for testing, or anything else, you may feel embarrassed because you’re not like everyone else in the room. You may be thinking that you’re sticking out because of these accommodations, which can lead to embarrassment. After all, no one likes the feeling of being stared at. 

How Can You Overcome It?

Think about how often you pay attention to others. The odds are that you don’t pay attention to any one person at a social gathering unless, of course, they’re your friend or family member. And if you are paying attention to one person, it’s likely for a good reason rather than a bad one. No one is paying as much attention to you as you are to yourself. Being self-conscious can make you believe that people are looking at you, when in fact they’re looking at something behind you or somewhere else in the room. 

In this case, your embarrassment might also come from your inability to know what someone is thinking. You may be putting thoughts in their head that are only in your own. While having compassion for others is easy, having compassion for yourself can be difficult. Be kind to yourself, and you might have different thoughts about how others view you. 

Justifying Having a Health Condition  

This reason for embarrassment is the most frustrating of all because you already know when someone is skeptical of your condition. For example, you might have trouble getting stimulated during sexual activity and need to take erectile dysfunction medication. Discussing your needs with your partner or someone you are seeing can oftentimes feel demoralizing and embarrassing. However, you must remember that you are not alone. ED in particular affects millions of men and can occur for a variety of reasons. Learning how to treat your condition and speak confidently about it will help you work on overcoming the embarrassment surrounding your condition. 

How Can You Overcome It?

Remind yourself that you are the one who is suffering from a health condition, and you know your body and mind, not the other person. Always trust your own judgment when it comes to your health and wellness. 

Overcoming Embarrassment 

It’s not easy, but you can take steps to overcome your embarrassment due to a health condition. Be more realistic with yourself when it comes to your standards and how people view you. While you may feel like you stick out in a crowd, you likely don’t. People are always more focused on themselves than those around them, especially in public. 

If you find yourself feeling judged by others, remind yourself that you are the one who knows your mind and body better than anyone and try not to let their judgment affect how you treat yourself. 

Matt CasadonaMatt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. He is currently a contributing editor for 365 Business Tips. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys the San Diego life, traveling and music.