Speaking Out ~ Living With HD

Facing the reality - a balanced view

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Being at risk to HD obviously presents a number of difficulties, but perhaps the basic one is learning to live with the knowledge realistically.

Some people experience a kind of see-saw effect; on some days they feel sure that they will get HD, and on others they are sure they won't.

Either extreme distorts reality. If you are too pessimistic, you live in continual dread and are unable to plan a career or a rewarding relationship, or cultivate interests. You may also be constantly looking for symptoms and the smallest accidents take on a different meaning.

Being too optimistic, on the other hand, may lead to denial and irresponsibility, such as not telling your partner and having children without making the decision rationally. This can lead to misery later on.

The more knowledge you have about the disease, then the more you are able to view your situation realistically and plan your life accordingly.
Being prepared for both getting it, and not getting it, can mean that you can enjoy a satisfying life which is not destroyed if you are unfortunate enough to get HD.
This is, of course, easier said than done, but a positive attitude can be helped by remembering that you are not alone, that keeping it to yourself makes it worse, and that even after the onset of the disease life can have meaning and happiness.