That facet is keeping a facade toward other people and the fears and facts of being misunderstood, judged and even outright rejected. Several people very near and dear to me deal with long-term diseases, disorders or problems without very good diagnoses, and those problems and challenges come up all the time. Worries what others may think are bad enough, and it does not exactly get better when people actually respond poorly to facts.
I do not think people set out to misunderstand and judge, but many of us know too little about what ails others and may feel dropped in at the deep end and make a hasty, uncomfortable retreat when suddenly exposed. It is hard to know how to move forward if it feels as if a sinkhole just opened in front of you.
So what can we do? Keep talking. The more we hear about something, the less strange it gets.
I have yet to encounter my first big disease, disorder or diagnosis personally. If and when it happens, I hope we will have talked so much that a large chunk of worries will have evaporated.
(Open always wins, right?)