Knowledge is power

Understand as much about your illness as you can (and want to) and search for the right support for you.

Understand your illness

Research your illness using information provided by your doctor and the information provided by reputable organisations and their websites. If the health website is independent, not-for-profit and government supported, then it is most likely to be the best source of information. Gather a variety of information from different places to help answer your questions. Try Healthdirect as a starting point and this can then lead you in the direction you need to go for your particular illness.

Know this is your journey

It can be tempting to compare yourself with others and think their experience will be your experience. You might predict that because bad things have happened to others, the worst possible thing might happen to you. However, this is your journey and you won’t really know what your journey will be until you are on it. You are an individual and you will experience your illness in your own way. Other people can offer support and advice, but you need to do what is right for you.

Find the right doctor for you

There are some doctors you will feel comfortable with and supported by, and others you may not relate to as well. This is normal. You don’t have to put up with poor treatment or poor communication from your doctor, so if you do not feel well informed or supported and if you can find another doctor, change. If you feel anxious because you do not know how to assess whether you have the right doctor or you feel you cannot change doctors, read more about making informed decisions about your health on the Jean Hailes website.

Finding others who understand

Find others who have the same diagnosis as you – this may be one or two people or a support group. It can be helpful to have someone else to talk with who has been through the same tests, treatments, highs and lows.

Created on 30/08/2013 | Updated on 02/02/2017
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About Jean Hailes

Jean Hailes is Australia’s leading and most trusted women’s health organisation. We believe in physical and emotional health and wellbeing in all its dimensions for all women in Australia throughout their lives.

We offer a range of free resources and easy to understand information on women’s health and wellbeing. Appointments at our specialist women’s health clinics can be made in person (East Melbourne and Clayton, VIC) or across Australia via our Telehealth consultation service.

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