As a 20 year+ sufferer I just remembered that I dealt with family and friends by giving my condition a nickname and for the life of me I can't remember what it was. But it was very effective. I would say "sorry cant go out today as xxxx has come to visit. She will be probably be gone by xxx." This way friends wouldn't feel they had to commiserate and I didn't feel like a hypochondriac. I even began talking to "her" (same sex name) if I had the energy. I used to say things like. "Ok how long will you be around this time? I haven't got tie to deal with you. No I am not "barking" but I owned her and it was surprisingly effective and made everyone else more comfortable.
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