Hyperprolactinemia can be caused by several disorders and prolactinomas are a common cause. Most pituitary tumors produce prolactin and considering other diseases caused by pituitary tumors, hyperprolactinemia is not a bad one! These tumors (called adenomas) are almost always benign. That is of course better than a malign tumor. But just because something is better, doesn’t make it the best.
It can be mentally difficult to be diagnosed with any kind of tumor. What makes pituitary tumors different from malign brain tumors, is that they are rarely life-threatening and a long term and possibly lifelong treatment is a preferred and accepted treatment. So when you’ve just suffered the first blow of being diagnosed with a tumor, the second one hits you – you might be medicated for a long long time. As with any other disease, some react better to treatment than others. But those words “tumor” and “long term treatment” are not nice.
The next chapter is treatment. What kind of treatment? Drugs? Surgery? All while still adapting to the fact that you have a tumor in the brain. Then you have to explain it to family and friends. You barely understand it yourself and then you need to explain it to someone else. ‘Yes I have a tumor.’ ‘No, I don’t know why.’ ‘No, I don’t know when I’ll be cured.’ ‘No, I’m not sick.’ Endless streams of question with no obvious answers.
When I was diagnosed I told my close family first. I felt a lack of interest and understanding. I felt accused almost. To avoid the questions I kept quit and never told anyone after that. I guess it bottled up because now I’m telling the world! The psychological aspects of being diagnosed with a tumor and treated with drugs indefinitely are not easy. A support system is crucial. So if you don’t have anyone to talk to a network online is the second best thing.