Lies Your Chronic Illness Tells You


Chronic illnesses, like mental health conditions, chronic pain, and autoimmune conditions, are a burden on the body and the spirit. Being sick for years is physically exhausting and mentally and spiritually disheartening. In fact, the loss of hope is the worst part for most chronic disease sufferers.

Chronic illness tells you lies, and if you’re not careful, you might start to believe them:

1. I’ll never get better

What’s actually true: Chronic illnesses respond to treatment, but it may take time. Unlike short-term illnesses like the flu, which get better in days or weeks, chronic conditions may linger for months or years. But that’s not to say they linger with no progress whatsoever; chronic illness drift toward improvement more gradually, so improvements can be harder to recognize and appreciate.

2. It has been this bad for years

What’s actually true: Chronic illnesses relapse and remit. Many long time illness sufferers have been in remission for long stretches, and then have a relapse where things get worse for a while. But improvements happen, and can be hard to remember when you’re down in the trenches battling a relapse.

3. Nobody understands

What’s actually true: Having a chronic disease can feel extremely lonely, and it may feel like you’re all alone in your suffering. But the truth is that you’re not the only person suffering with chronic illness. This is where support groups are helpful, to allow you to find people who truly do understand.

4. Nobody cares

What’s actually true: When you’re tired of feeling bad day after day, it can be easy to tell yourself that the people who love you are tired of your problems, too. But the people who love you still love you when you have a chronic illness. That doesn’t change.

5. It’s not worth fighting

What’s actually true: You can get better from your chronic illness, and it’s worth it to get help and move toward recovery. Your mind tells you it’s too hard because it looks like a long road from your point of view. In truth, you get better one day at a time.

6. It’s easier to avoid taking on responsibilities

What’s actually true: It’s important not to let your chronic disease take everything away. It’s important to keep on living. Even though taking on more responsibility can be scary when you don’t trust your health, you’ll want to continue living your life on your terms. The disease is not in charge, you are!

Posted on February 5, 2018 .