Friends are fun to hang out with. They can make you laugh, but they can also help you as you deal with your primary immunodeficiency (PI), so you need friends who accept you and are always there for you!
Finding Good Friends
You should give some thought about who you choose to hang out with. As you grow older, you will probably spend more time with your friends than your family, and they can be a really important part of your life. They can be a strong support for you in times when you really need it. Living with PI can be less stressful and more manageable with good friends in your life. Here are some things to think about when it comes to friends:
Friends and Your PI
Since PI is rare, your friends may have never heard of it. Also, since you probably look healthy, they won’t know that you have PI unless you tell them about it. It is entirely up to you to decide if and when you tell your friends. You need to make the choice that works best for you.
There might be a time when you are ill and your friends are curious as to why you miss so much school. They will say to you, “Why are you sick all the time?” This might be the time when you decide to explain it to them. Some friends will only want a simple explanation and then move on to something else. Others will ask a lot of questions and want to know more.
If and when you decide to tell your friends about your PI, it will be good to have a plan:
Some of your friends will get it and some won’t. It may be frustrating when some of your friends don’t take the time to really listen to what you’re saying. Just remember, you may have to give some of your friends a little more time to understand what you have shared with them.
IDF Common Ground
Would you like to communicate with other teens with PI? Visit IDF Common Ground, a discussion forum just for teens with PI.
IDF Peer Support
IDF offers one-to-one peer support. If you would like to be contacted by an IDF Teen Council Member, contact IDF.
IDF Teen Escape, IDF National Conference, IDF Retreats
IDF Teen Escape is a weekend getaway for teens with PI. You will meet other young people who understand what you are going through, have fun and learn from healthcare experts. Click here for more information. You can also attend other IDF events that feature special programs for teens, like IDF National Conference or IDF Retreats.