What Next (After Diagnosis)?
To a large extent, this will depend on how you feel about having vitiligo. Your feelings will probably be affected by where the patches are on your body, how noticeable they are, your age, family situation and so on. It may be that your vitiligo is not very noticeable; as it does not hurt, possibly you will regard the condition as a nuisance rather than anything else. For some people, the diagnosis can come as a shock; often people describe feeling unreal, or a sense of detachment, or time standing still. This is a common response often associated with shock, which offers a protective barrier to otherwise painful emotions. For many people, doing something practical can help with these feelings.
So, what can you do?
- Inform yourself: get information about vitiligo from this website and ask your doctor about available treatments and services. Good information will help you to make treatment decisions and may give you a better sense of control over your condition.
- Share experiences with others: it can be reassuring to know that you are not alone in dealing with vitiligo. As well as giving support, other people can also be a significant source of information. The Vitiligo Society offers opportunities for you to meet other people with the condition.
- Reduce stress: ask yourself if there are immediate changes you can make in your life that would decrease stress (and make them, if at all possible). Ask for support from your family or friends to help you do this.
- Talk about your feelings: this may be with your family and friends. If you find this difficult, a ‘neutral person’ like a counsellor may be able to help.