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How Should I Prepare Myself Emotionally for the Potential Results of Genetic Testing?

It’s difficult to predict how you’ll react when receiving your genetic results. For some, a positive test brings relief after years of searching for answers, marking the end of a diagnostic odyssey. This newfound knowledge empowers them to make lifestyle decisions, family planning, clinical trial enrollment, medication options, and connection with support networks.

Conversely, others hope for a negative result, fearing the guilt or shame of possibly passing a condition to future generations. Take time to reflect on how you may feel if the testing is positive or negative. Journaling and/or talk therapy may be helpful. Scheduling new appointments with mental health providers can take time, so it is suggested to start that process before your first pre-test genetic counseling visit. It is also important to identify people in your life who can support you.

You may not feel fully emotionally prepared to receive your genetic test results and that is okay. The unknown can be scary. Keep in mind your genetic counselor is there to support you throughout the entire process. 

 

Written by Michelle Rochman, MS CGC

Edited by Celeste Suart, PhD

 

 

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