I know that telling people about your HH is really difficult and scary. Sweat is a taboo subject at the very least, but it has also proven to have negative connotations in society. So, we hide, conceal, disappear, and avoid doing what we love.
HH creates a physical disability, but also a social one. One day, I hope that HH is a commonly known condition. One way we can help the cause is by telling people about HH.
Every person you tell is one more person with understanding and awareness. Knowing this gives me a little boost of courage. I tell people about my condition for the HH community.
Here are a few ways I have told people about my HH:
1. I find the most effective way to tell people about my HH is in person. Usually, I will wait until I have visual example to show the person, ie. Excessively sweaty hands. I don’t tell just anyone. At this point in my life, I am only telling people who I have known for a while and trust/care about a lot. After some time, I know I can trust my relationship with the person to remain the same even if I open up about HH.
Sometimes, the opportunity will present itself. Maybe the person will notice and ask about it, or you’ll experience an embarrassing situation where there is absolutely no way to hide, or it’ll be really hot out and you are sweating much more profusely and noticeably than they are.
I usually start by saying, “I have a medical condition called Hyperhidrosis. It’s difficult for me to talk about, but I struggle with it every day and I’ve had it my whole life.”
When telling people about your HH in person, you are able to answer questions and have a dialogue about it. You are also able to make sure they fully understand all aspects of the condition and how it impacts your life. Understanding the full impact is very important, as we all know that HH is NOT Just a Little Sweat.
Last, when telling people in person, you are able to see their facial expressions and gauge their reactions. When I email people about my HH, and they don’t respond right away, I can never be sure what they are thinking. By telling people in person, you have a much more immediate and honest reaction.
2. You can email/snail-mail people you trust about HH. I have done this several times. Sometimes it’s just easier to hide behind the computer. I have emailed and sent Facebook messages to some of my closest friends. Some members of my quintet found out about my HH through email. I have also emailed co-workers and old college friends.
I try to write a very open and honest letter describing HH and what it has meant for me to live with it every day. I also mention how important it is that I can be open with them about it from now on. This does not mean that I need to talk about HH all the time. I just don’t want people to be quiet about it and treat it like some secret that I want hidden. That’s not the point. The point is to start feeling normal with our condition.
3. If you want to stay anonymous but still help the cause, tell someone by blogging about HH! That’s how I started. I wrote this blog anonymously for a really long time.
Blogging was and is very therapeutic for me. I used to be so angry about HH, but recently am focusing my efforts more positively. As a result, this blog has helped me and others.
Please feel free to add any other tips for telling people about HH. Have courage and good luck to you all out there!