Things Not to Say to People With Chronic Illnesses

1. You LOOK so healthy.

2. Have you tried (name of very basic, obvious remedy, like ibuprofen)?

3. Are you SURE you’re sick?

4. You mean you really can’t do that tiny, tiny, little motion? Just doing that little thing causes you pain? Aren’t you being dramatic?

5. Are you sure it’s not psychological?

6. But I saw you bending over/using your arm/walking fast the other day. (Hello? There is such a thing as a good pain day and a bad pain day.)

7. Stop feeling sorry for yourself.
8. The love of Jesus Christ heals all. (Note: If you run into one of these people, don’t say you’re Jewish/Muslim/Buddhist/agnostic. It only makes them more determined.)

9. If I had all the things you have, I’d kill myself.

10. Well! You certainly do have a lot of problems!

11. Don’t think of them as problems. Think of them as “challenges.”

12. When are you going to get better? (I wish I knew.)

13. How can (name of your partner) stand to live with you? Maybe he or she wants someone who isn’t disabled.

14. What do you do all day?

15. Everything happens for a reason. (So, does that mean I was a genocidal monster in a past life?)

16. Think of your illness as an opportunity for spiritual growth. (I’d rather take a meditation class.)

17. View your illness as a gift. (Great! Where can I return it?)

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Hi! I'm Vicki. My blog is called "Miss Diagnoses" because I have too many diagnoses and because my Lyme disease was misdiagnosed for many years. In addition to being a professional patient, I'm a compulsive reader and doodler. Sadly, my writing and drawing are limited by repetitive strain injury and neuropathy. I use assistive technology, but I can't post as often as I'd like. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and I have two short cartoon videos on YouTube. Twitter and Instagram: @miss_diagnoses Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube: @MissDiagnoses

2 thoughts on “Things Not to Say to People With Chronic Illnesses

  1. Sometimes I wish that every part of my body that hurts, would lite up, so others can “see”the daily pain I’m in. Maybe start flashing a different color when pain increases due to a movement I know I shouldn’t do. After 20 years of fibromyalgia & other chronic illnesses, I’m struggling with SSDI forms of continuing disability, function report & the questions therein. How do you explain in one sentence why you can not work at your desk job? Then, how do you explain how you are able to work 3 hrs/day in a fast-food joint with people half your age, who are stoned & call you loser, dumbass & other choice adjectives? Living alone & unable to pay my bills after selling everything I had worked so hard for, this job is all I do, because those 3 hrs take all the will power & energy & allowed daily pain medication, to where there’s nothing left, but I continue breathing (and feeling the results all over).


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