So , I’m 19 and I’m in college . I keep meeting new people , and I always wonder how and when to tell them i have AS . I don’t want to bother them with all the details at once , so i stay elusive until they ask questions . Also , im scared as to when to tell a potential future romantic parter abt it . I just don’t want to sound either too dramatic or secretive about it , since I’m pretty open about it .
How and when do you tell people you have AS ?
My program required a lot of rugged, outdoor activities, such as back packing, rock climbing, etc. I got special treatment by being allowed to replace some trip assignments with essays, or being able to switch an entire class with one that wasn't so hard on my joint. When students asked about it I told them I was having to visit a lot of doctors to find out what was wrong and my diagnosis was a type of spinal arthritis (I figured they wouldn't know or remember how to say Ankylosing Spondylitis haha I barely remembered). They would ask questions about heredity and where I got it from or ask about symptoms. they were actually helpful for me when I was figuring it all out and very accommodating. But I was lucky to have a small program and a close-knit cohort of peers. In your case I'd not over share information, especially if they aren't very compassionate, but if they ask questions I'd answer honestly. If they see your hesitation and wonder why you aren't sharing as much you can say something like "I don't want to be a bummer" or "I don't feel like talking about it much right now". that way it's not rude but you also don't have to talk forever about it.
I was in college when i was diagnosed. While I had to tell my professors almost immediately, I didnt start telling classmates until they noticed i started getting special treatment, or had to skip some classes because of the heavy toll some of thek took. As for my relationship, im now married, but when I started dating my husband I told him pretty soon after making our relationship official. Told him the basics and more or kess what to expect each day with a warning that it gets worse during certain times of year, etc. He was very understanding and willing to learn.
I would discuss only after you know them well and have a sense for whether they are empathetic. I had a male companion accuse me of being a hypochrondriac. I should say an ex companion but I do still talk to him, but keep my medical history separate.
My family I told right away as they were around me trying to help me get from one place to another. I also told my supervisor so she would understand why I can't do certain things, such as lifting boxes over a certain weight. Others I explained when they noticed (i.e moving slowly, unable to stand for very long, etc.).
We never share your personal information with anyone.