While everyone is entitled to their privacy when it comes to their health, it is often never beneficial to keep a condition bottled up inside. Yet, many people are often afraid to talk about a medical problem due to fear or embarrassment, or because they do not want to burden their loved ones.
If you want to spot the signs of a loved one’s health issue before it spirals out of control, learn about the four diseases people commonly keep secret.
1. Mental Illness
It’s believed 450 million people are currently living with some form of mental illness, such as depression, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder. Sadly, there is often a stigma attached to living with a mental illness, which is why two-thirds of Americans reportedly do not seek treatment for a condition. To spot the signs of a mental illness, look for:
- Frequent worrying
- An inability to bond with a baby following childbirth.
2. Drug Addiction
Most addicts will not want to admit they have a dependency on drugs and/or alcohol. However, people living with an addiction must realize that despite the stigma, many more people are now viewing the dependency as a serious illness, instead of a flaw in a person’s character.
Keeping the dependency a secret will not be the solution to the problem. It’s vital for a person to admit if they are living with an addiction and seek treatment. Find out more about a professional drug detox facility.
Living with a form of dementia can be difficult for a person to accept. It can take time for people to deal with the news that their memory will decline, and that they will experience severe cognitive difficulties in the future. It’s common for people living with dementia to want to retain their independence for as long as possible, which is why they might not be willing to share their diagnosis with their loved ones.
While it’s essential to allow a person to tell their loved ones in their own time, you will undoubtedly want to support a friend or family member living with the condition. You may also need to encourage them to seek medical help, no matter how terrified they might be at the prospect of living with the condition. Common dementia symptoms can include:
- Memory loss
- Changes in behavior or mood
- Poor judgment
- Language problems
- Difficulty performing everyday tasks
4. Eating Disorders
Keeping an eating disorder a secret is a common disease trait. In fact, many people living with an eating disorder can become a master of secrecy, which makes the thought of talking about the problem even more terrifying. There are various forms of eating disorders to watch out for, such as bulimia, anorexia, and binging.
Warning signs can include:
- Skipping meals
- Excessive calorie counting
- Compulsive exercise regimens
- Excuses to avoid eating meals
- Obsessive mealtime rituals
- Obsession with body weight and shape
- Disappearance of food
- Social withdrawal
- A sudden change in weight
If you believe a loved one is living with an eating disorder, you must speak to them about the problem and encourage them to seek medical help.