The unique circumstances associated with a rare
chronic illness like vasculitis can create significant barriers to
friendships, including loss of these relationships. Interventions
designed to help patients cope with the social impact of vasculitis are
implicated, especially if they increase patients` ability to engage in
dialogue about their illness with their friends.
The abstract is here.
What I have to say: This conclusion about illness and friendships (or even marriage) is something we see every day in the Vasculitis groups where we talk about our families and how friends and family deal with the disease. Many times these people are in denial about how much a WG patient can be social. It is an auto-immune disease, and many times it can be dangerous for a WG patient to be in large groups of people who carry all sorts of viruses and bacteria.
Even worse this study would have the same conclusion for all sorts of injuries and diseases. It is a sad fact that most people don't want to be reminded of their mortality.
The internet with social groups have been a blessing to us, and to others who can get together and talk about the problems caused by disease.