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Health is not a virtue

Health is not a virtue. Health is not simply a result of your good choices. It is luck. The biggest factors when it comes to health is genetics, income and trauma. Our control over our health is limited.

Not all disabilities are visible, some people may be upset for being criticized for not being ‘good enough or normal’. I know that it upsets me, especially in the workplace.

Instead of judging someone who is struggling with health issue, we should be finding ways to be supportive.

Be present

One of the most useful things you can do is just be there for your friend. Organize outings that he or she can participate in. Keep in mind their disability needs. Call her or him regularly to catch up. Having an illness can be isolating. People who suffer often have trouble getting support, so reassure your friend that he can count on you.

Listen

It can be comforting for your friend to know that someone understands what he is going through. Ask her or him if he wants to talk about it. By offering her or him attentive listening, she or he can open up to you without judgment. Try not to say things like, “Come on, it can’t be that bad! ” This type of comments trivializes what your friend is going through. Even if you do not understand, show her or him that you are not here to judge. Remember that health is not a virtue.

Find out more

If your friend is struggling with an illness you are unfamiliar with, find out more about what she or he is going through. It will also be useful when you talk about it.

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