Three patients sit in a doctor's waiting room; two are experiencing strong symptoms while one sits quietly in the middle.

I Get Hidradenitis Suppurativa Imposter Syndrome

Sometimes it’s really hard for me to write articles for and to make memes for my Instagram page, @hidradenitis.selina. I get what I like to call “Hidradenitis Suppurativa Imposter Syndrome.” Please keep in mind this is not a professional medical term and really just from my own experience.

Like I said above, this is just my own personal experience and I really wanted to share how I’ve been feeling because I have been wondering if others feel this way too and can relate. Hidradenitis suppurativa is an ongoing battle and it makes things somewhat easier when you have HS warriors fighting alongside you.

What is hidradenitis suppurativa imposter syndrome?

For me, hidradenitis suppurativa imposter syndrome is when I’m not flaring and I feel like I shouldn’t be talking about my HS. Basically, I feel like a fraud because if I don’t currently have an outbreak, I’m not feeling the pain or dealing with the hardships that go with HS.

I end up feeling so guilty that others are suffering while I’m not in pain that I feel like I shouldn’t even talk about dealing with it. But I really can’t be like that anymore.

Coping with hidradenitis suppurativa imposter syndrome

So, how do I cope with this hidradenitis suppurativa imposter syndrome? Well as you can see by my lack of recent articles and memes over the last few months, not too well. But I’ve been really trying to work on that. I’m starting to write articles again and I’m trying to post a meme everyday (well, I give myself a break on the weekends). I really am trying to push through these imposter feelings.

Just because I’m not flaring does not mean I can negate all the past experiences I’ve had with hidradenitis suppurativa. Even though I've still gotten flares over these past few months, the flares are no where near as bad as they were and that ends up making me feel guilty even though I’ve had 3 surgeries, countless doctor visits, an obscene amount of lancing/drainings, and who knows how many prescriptions given to me over the past few years. To this day, I still get flares monthly.

HS is a life-long battle

Just because my HS is not as bad as it once was does not mean I don’t still have the disease. It also does not mean I won’t wake up with a new flare tomorrow or even start feeling one coming on in an hour or two. I need to keep reminding myself that this is a life-long battle and my experiences aren’t negated just because I’m not in pain at the moment. I’m allowed to discuss HS because I have this illness and I’m going to have it probably for the rest of my life.

I can’t hide any part of my hidradenitis suppurativa story and I have to discuss all aspects of it so I can try and help people understand this disease and so that HS Warriors aren’t feeling alone in their emotions.

No matter how big or small a flare you get, or whether you’re in remission, your hidradenitis suppurativa story matters and every part should be heard. Instead of feeling guilty for not flaring, I need to learn to be appreciative and grateful for the pain-free moment. Because with hidradenitis suppurativa, you never know how long it's going to last.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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