Monday, October 26, 2015

What to Say to Someone with a Chronic Illness or Invisible Disability

Things NOT to say to someone with an Invisible disability or Chronic Illness

But you don’t look sick

Everyone gets tired

You’re just having a bad day

Must be nice not having to go to work

I wish I had time to get a nap

If you’d get out more

You just need more exercise

It can’t be that bad

It’s all in your head

You’re just depressed

There are people worse off than you

You’ll just have to tough it out

This too shall pass

You have what? I’ve never heard of it

Aren’t you feeling better yet?

I’ll pray you get better

It’s not God’s will that you’re sick

But you look just fine

You’re taking too much medicine

You need to change your diet

Losing weight might help

If you had a more positive attitude

I thought they stopped diagnosing people with that (because it’s not real)


I’ve heard many of these, thankfully not all. I have a very supportive group of friends and family. One of my friends even asked for an opposite list. What do you say to support someone with a chronic illness or invisible disability?

That took me off guard. I had to think about that a bit. How would I feel supported by a comment from someone who doesn’t really know what I’m going through (after all, you don’t get it till you get it)?

Hmm, maybe these comments:

Is this a bad day or a less bad day?

What do you find helpful with pain, energy, sleep, etc?

Is there any way we can help address some of your issues at church? (accessibility)

Can we help you with anything?

How can I pray for you?

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