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?

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    Good luck for the zumba class Eileen, I feel breathless just thinking about it, even the sitting down version. I hope you have a good time too.
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  • Edited

    Yes, for me there is a stigma that comes from the doctor, and they're all the same, without exception. I'm not overweight, I exercise regularly, I've never smoked, I eat a reasonably healthy diet, and I drink only a little alcohol. I'm always treated like a lazy, good for nothing recalcitrant with an attitude like "why won't you lower your blood pressure?" without actually saying that, but looking askance at me whenever I describe my exercise routine with the clear implication that it's not good enough. It's never enough.

    When I was younger I virtually devoted my life to cycling, training 6 hours a day on weekends and rarely seeing my family, putting in up to 2000 vertical metres of climbing, and my systolic was in the 30s. That wasn't good enough.

    As soon as I turn up for an appointment, the first question is "how's the cycling?"... not "how are you?" / "how are you coping with the COVID-19 stage 4 lockdown?" / "do you have any side effects of the medication?" (I do, and they're intolerable). There's no pleasure in cycling for me any more. I can't stand to even look at a bike because doctors are all I hear in my head.

    Doctors treat patients like everything is their own fault, to the point of causing my depression and figuring that one way to reduce my blood pressure would be to blow my brains out with a shotgun. They defeat the whole purpose of managing blood pressure, which is to improve overall health. That's my experience of the stigma of blood pressure.

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    Diabetes and blood pressure are brother and sister. One effects the other. Sugar levels can be a problem for blood pressure and heart rate.

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