Is there a stigma to having high blood pressure? Someone commented to me that I didn't look as though I had high blood pressure.

Edited , 5 users are following.

I was tempted to ask what I should look like.! I felt a sense of shame at the diagnosis and feel it is a stigma. I wonder if this is what other people feel. I believe people who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes can feel stigmatised thanks to a bad press about obesity and type 2 diagnosis. Does the same apply to high blood pressure I wonder? What do others think?

1 like, 18 replies

Report / Delete

18 Replies

Next
  • Posted

    As it is known as the 'Silent Killer' as so many people do not know they have it, how can you look like you have it?!!

    I do think people have the idea that you must be very overweight and stressed.... or maybe it should be red faced?!

    So don't know if there is a stigma to it.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    High blood pressure is not something you can identify just by looking at someone. There are a number of risk factors for developing high blood pressure such as age, lifestyle, diet, ethnic background and family history. And the exact causes have not been properly worked out yet, so I wouldn't say there is any stigma around the diagnosis.

    Tarun (hospital pharmacist)

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Thank you amsjo and Tarun for your reply. When I was diagnosed with hypertension I was angry and very upset and felt my body had let me down. I'm not overweight and don't smoke and had never had any serious illness in my life [70yrs] and really didn't want medication for the rest of my life - and I don't have a red face either!. It wasn't however until I met someone for the first time who said she'd had a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes recently who was also not overweight that I realised what a fuss I'd been making about high blood pressure when diabetes would be so much worse. I had felt there was a stigma to high blood pressure but how would a diagnosis of diabetes have felt - dreadful I guess.
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I'm mid 40's and i am overweight, but don't drink, don't smoke ... but I did crave salt so that was not good. I think I felt similar as for me it is first time I have needed to take tablets in reality for the rest of my life. However like you I have stopped feeling sorry for myself and decided to help myself and do something about it. So have cut out salt, become active and watching my food intake ... and with medicine too my BP is doing much better (it started at 220/110 so could be much worse!)

    And best bit is I now feel so good .. so see it as a nudge to be good to yourself and think about yourself too (I was too good at running around after my family, where as I now value myself)

    Wishing you all the best Jane.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Amsjo, Thank you for the reply. I also had a high salt intake but have virtually dropped salt out of the diet and I can't say I miss it at all. I took up walking although already was very active but with better eating habits my bmi has dropped from 23.9 down to 21. Nobody would call me neurotic I don't think and yet I was fast becoming just that with this pill thing; I think it was the 'for the rest of your life - there is no cure' that I found the sticking point. That and the fact that once the doctors have you in their sights there's no letting you go. I was lucky in that one pill seems to be working and I keep an eye on the numbers with my own monitor.

    I was moaning to my step brother about the pill taking and he remarked "Some of us don't have a choice" and that stopped me in my tracks. He is 65 and lost his mother at 3 months old and his father at 5 years old: at 14 was diagnosed with epilepsy and has of course never driven, his first child was stillborn, his wife died at 46 years of cancer, he developed laryngeal cancer some time later [survived over 7 years now] then a year ago woke up blind in one eye having had a TIA in his sleep !! What am I moaning about ???? Well actually I'm not really any more, and having read so much about diabetes since meeting that lady I'm living my life to the full.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Jane - that is so sad about your step brother, but he sounds like a strong person and yes he is right, you and I are both blessed with the fact that we have had a warning and can change things and sounds like we both have smile

    So keep up the good work.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi,

    This is my first post on this forum......

    I have high blood pressure. The way I look at it is that I'm lucky they found out. As someone said its the Silent Killer and lots of people don't know they have it until they have a stroke or something similar.....At least if it is discovered it can be treated.

    I don't drink or smoke and am only a few lbs over weight LOL

    Hilena

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    You are right Hilena it is lucky they found this thing out, we should all be grateful to be prevented from strokes and heart attacks - or diabetes. Obviously your attitude is much better than mine was,I just felt caught in a trap. However there is nothing to be done except take the meds and keep the bp under control. Best of luck with yours.
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    You are right Hilena it is lucky they found this thing out, we should all be grateful to be prevented from strokes and heart attacks - or diabetes. Obviously your attitude is much better than mine was,I just felt caught in a trap. However there is nothing to be done except take the meds and keep the bp under control. Best of luck with yours.
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi,

    Thanks.......I'll just keep taking the tablets LOL but my problem is I have Osteoarthritis in lots of joints

    I can't do the exercise that I should be doing for the BP.

    I also have scoliosis in my back {C shape curve}

    So One lot say don't do this exercise....another say...do this.....and I can only walk about 10 mins without an aid LOL

    Where on earth do you go when you have such conflicting problems

    Anyway...hope you are getting to grips with your BP

    Love

    Hileena

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Well, there are some very interesting comments here. I think it must be a cultural thing to feel there is stigma with certain illnesses. If people drink heavily, smoke heavily, eat a fatty and salty diet and don't exercise. Yes, there might be a stigma in have hypertension or diabetes. If on the other hand you live as healthily as you can, don't drink much, or smoke, and exercise a little and often, then any illness you get can't be helped. I try to live as healthily as I can, don't smoke, don't drink, don't overeat, but manage some exercise but I have hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, bronchiectasis, Sjogren's syndrome, and now - breast cancer!! I don't feel stigmatized or to blame for any of these illnesses.

    Eileen, I feel so sad for you. Not being able to do the things you are advised to do is frustrating. Can you swim? Or maybe just get in the low end of a pool to do a little walking in the water? I'm wishing you good luck in your quest.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Best of luck Poemsgalore - What a lot you have to cope with.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Poemsgalore

    You do have such a lot to cope with....I have epilepsy as well as the others LOL but I forget about that except to take the meds....I drive etc and have been stable for about 30 years now........As far as stigma is concerned......that's something that has stigma attached...but like you anything I have I don't feel to blame for it.

    As for swimming.......I hate the water I know that's the best thing but!!!!!

    Guess where I'm going tomorrow morning.......ZUMBA!!!! seated zumba but nevertheless zumba LOL

    It will either kill or cure. It is being organised by a couple of girls who came to our arthritis care branch one evening and gave us a demo.....so they are starting a class mostly for us.

    Wish me luck for tomorrow.......Slimming World in the evening if I can put one foot past the other after the morning LOL

    Hileena

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Well good luck Hileena, Zumba eh - lol.!!

    I feel very guilty for having raised the subject of stigma, what was I doing feeling so sorry for myself, how selfish is that. I never thought of stigma in relation to my brother's epilepsy, it was just something he coped with. However I think my mother had other thoughts and as we had recently moved when it started [he was 14] she thought it best to keep it under wraps, this was the mid 60s. She did it for the right reasons, I'm sure, as nobody knew him in the village and she thought people would judge him harshly. It rather backfired though when he was 17 and her own brother asked why he wasn't driving.

    so I hope you aren't too stiff tomorrow evening.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Don't be silly ....if that's the way you feel ...why not ask others if there is a stigma?

    As for the Zumba......this is me before I go to my first class LOL Tomorrow morning.....possibly I'll not manage to get back.....although I hope I will.

    The epilepsy.....well my mother was the same.....I was 18 month old when it happened and she hid it from most people.....that's the previous generation......but when I was old enough I thought this is silly and I told people. Not just out of the blue but anyone I thought should know......that I was with a lot. I'm lucky that I can drive even though they send me forms to fill in every few years to renew my licence.....that's it....no re-test...thank goodness LOL

    Hileena

    Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up