Give Yourself a Break – The Mental Toll HS Brings (For men)

You’re already dealing with the physical pain of hidradenitis suppurativa; take it easy on yourself. So what if you fall back on plans to hang with friends or go out because you can barely walk due to a flare-up. You have to understand it isn’t your fault; you did nothing wrong, you’re not dirty and not being a “baby.”

hidradenitis suppurativa smiling man

Talking about HS

For some, HS can be debilitating, and if those around you are not informed, your friends and family might start thinking you don’t want to hang out with them anymore. Or that you’re too busy for them. When situations like this arise, and they confront you, it can make one feel isolated. Personally, this would happen to me. Firstly, I was nervous about telling people that I have HS. So most of my friends had no idea how much I was suffering behind closed doors.

The first step

In my opinion, the first step of not feeling like you’re letting others down when you’re not physically up to hanging out is speaking up and informing people you care about in your life. I bring this up because it weighed on me, and my mental health was declining. It got better when my friends knew and were completely understanding when it would happen.

hidradenitis suppurativa suffering men

Relationships and Intimacy

Furthermore, being intimate with sexual partners can be a challenge. Self-esteem and ego can be destroyed because you feel you’re gross or unworthy of love. That is entirely false and going down this road is dangerous for your mental health.


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If a woman or man does not want to be with you because of your disease, boys then let them walk. They’ve shown their true colors early and saved your valuable time. As previously stated, THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT. If someone does not love you for who you are, you’re wasting your time. Of course, we all would want our Cinderella story and to fall in love. Instead, focus on your mental health, go to the gym when you can, aspire to have a healthy lifestyle, eat your vegetables, read, figure out how to be the best YOU.

HS love

Love will come

Love will come when it is time. Society has pegged men as people who should not show emotion, man up, never complain, and are always expected to be strong. I say no to that… seeing a therapist is not weak, telling people you’re not okay is not weak, crying is not weak. What the hell does it even me to “be a man”?  Your H.S. does not define you. We are all capable of overcoming this disease. If you have any shot of beating this, try not to limit yourself or sell yourself short in any way.

About the Author

Michael Mineo is a 24-year-old Social Work Major focusing on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), working towards an MSW at Florida Atlantic University in South Florida. He also suffers from HS and aspires to help fellow sufferers to the best of his ability. Michael enjoys being a first-time father, going to the gym, videogames, and spending time with family.

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