AHN - CAH Social Issues


Social Concerns

As has already been said, those who have been able to have an open and informed relationship with their parents and doctors find the hurdles of CAH easier to overcome.

Adolescence is often a difficult time.  If, added to this you have a condition, which requires you to take regular medication, you may ?different? and vulnerable making you unsure about relationships.  Adolescent girls with CAH may need a lot of support.  In all adults there are times when depression occasionally can lead to feelings of suicide.  Some women with CAH feel that extreme mood swings are often caused by hormone imbalances and these concerns need careful, sensitive discussion with a specialist.  For young adults and women, counselling can be of great help in establishing self-esteem and confidence and in developing strategies to cope with difficult situations that may be experienced with relationships.  With a counsellor, it may be helpful to discuss and understand more about the condition.  For many it will be the first time that they can talk openly about the issues of sexuality, how they perceive their bodies and female needs and how the individual sees the effect of CAH on their adult life

How and when to tell a partner about CAH can be a difficult problem.  If you have confidence about your self it is much easier to put the condition into perspective for the person you are telling.  Just because they now know you have CAH, this does not mean you have changed from the person they knew or loved before.   This is not to be dismissive of the very real feelings a lot of women have about the fear of rejection from a potential partner. Feelings of being and looking different can put women off even trying to establish a relationship and may also cause overwhelming despair and depression.  Some women find that talking to a counsellor who is not emotionally involved, can be of great help in generating confidence in herself.

The importance of adequate professional counselling has not really been addressed in many hospitals.  Ideally it should be given by counsellors who understand CAH and the issues that arise from it.  Always ask your doctor about counselling if you feel that it may be helpful.  Some women find talking to others with CAH more helpful, as they feel they may well have experienced the same difficulties, but found ways to overcome them.  

? Dr G. S. Conway 1999

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