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Stigma of Chronic Illnesses

One of the principle reasons I write about Graves Disease and Fibromyalgia is to fight against the stigma of chronic illnesses.

You are not trying hard enough

People are often very supportive when you first get sick. Unfortunately this support dwindles away after a while. The majority of the population don’t understand the meaning of incurable. They constantly expect you to get better. When you fail to do so, they start believing that you are simply not trying enough. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

You are just seeking attention

Others believe that you are exaggerating your symptoms or that you are seeking attention. That you aren’t really as sick as are telling people you are. If you dare get better, even if it’s temporary, they will use this a justification for not believing you. The truth about chronic illnesses is that there will be good days and they will be bad days. There’s nothing you can do or say to prove, nor should you have to, that you have a real chronic illness.

You don’t look sick

If you keep your struggle just for yourself than you aren’t sick at all. If they can’t see it and don’t hear about it, it doesn’t exists.

In other words, if you keep it for yourself you aren’t sick, but if you talk about it, you are just seeking attention. We just can’t win. So the best thing to do is go at with by following your own gut. You speak as much as you need. You keep for yourself as much as you need. Be yourself in a world that will judge you negatively no matter what.

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