6 things you should NEVER ever say to someone suffering with a Chronic Illness

6 things NOT to say to someone suffering with a Chronic illness…… Or else!!!!!!!

As a Ex – chronic Illness sufferer there were a few things that hindered my recovery long term that I found extremely hard to deal with from the outside world. One of them was the lack of understanding and empathy from people who didn’t know what I was really going through with suffering a debilitating illness. Their insensitive, lack of understanding statements often hindered my progress and made me feel worthless. I am sure all people out their can relate to this.

So for all the Chronic Illness sufferers out there this one is for you.

1. But you look fine or even worse.. wow you look great!

You know the feeling when on the outside you look fine but on the inside you feel like your body is rotting away. Yep unfortunately the on lookers/friends and family can only judge a book by the front cover. It is even worse for girls who can wear make up to hide their dark ringed eyes and rashed skin. On the outside you look glam but on the inside you feel like trash. Totally unfair.
2. If you can do that then surely you can do everything else.

Apparently if you can go to one event it means you can go to ALL OF THEM. Maybe if these people educated themselves on the spoon theory or my 10 credit system (golden rules video)  they might understand that it takes ENERGY and COURAGE to make it to one event let alone two or three. If only they saw the pre fear build up and hours of resting in bed in order to attend just ONE event. The onlookers only see the good side (two hours of putting on a brave face at an event) and unfortunately they dont see the dark days of the after affect in bed curled up in the ball of pain and suffering with flare ups of major symptoms that stop them from even moving from the bed to the couch. Post exertional malaise is NOT fun!
3. Sleep it off you’ll be fine.

Apparently if we sleep it off we will just magically wake up cured. Wow if only it was that easy – Sorry for being rude but COME ON, You don’t think we haven’t tried that before. If only overcoming Chronic Illness was that easy – SERIOUSLYYYYYYY! Enough said.
4. I know how you feel, Im tired all the time to.

Don’t give me your “oh I am tired too crap.” The things I would do to just be tired. Unfortunately with chronic illness – your not just tired, You are utterly exhausted physically and mentally most of the time, constant aching muscles, sore throat, swollen glands, headaches, dizziness and nausea to name just a few is a bit more then just tired buddy. Day to day chores and Daily activities are hard to achieve little own, getting out of the house on a good day. Your general tiredness would be a walk in the park for anyone suffering from Chronic Illness. Move on please…



5. You are just depressed, it is all in your head.

Maybe it’s just ALL in your head and your just depressed  ??? – OMG if I hear this once more – bang – you will get a punch in the face. Yeah my constant aching muscles, swollen glands, dizziness, nausea, sore throat, headaches, brain fog and the thousands of dollars I have spent on medical bills is all in my head. Sorry mate but if it were all in my head I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t feel these symptoms that literally stop me from moving my body from A to B. A, being bedroom.. B, being Bathroom. Maybe start googling Chronic Illness and the neurological effects it has on the body… you insensitive [email protected]!kH#@d.


6. Sweat it out and exercise your way out of it.

Just push through it and RUN IT OFF – ARE YOU KIDDING ME…  so your telling me if I just run it off and push through my illness that the symptoms and all my problems will disappear. I dont think they realize that is probably the WORST advice ever and can be extremely detrimental and very dangerous to anyones health if they push themselves beyond their threshold (push/crash cycle). Because us chronically ill folk look okay on the outside, people just assume we need a good sweat out to get rid of our toxins and tiredness. Man if only they knew what we would do to be able to go for a run without flaring up our symptoms and making us worse. In our dreams!

So these 6 were my main PET HATES when it came to people trying to be nice but made it worse for me. I’d like to hear your number one pet hate comments that people said to you.. If you relate to this post, like, share and comment to get this out there to the people who need to see it most.

Toby Morrison is the founder of CFS health and an Ex M.E/CFS sufferer and now a M.E/CFS adcovate and author of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome a guide to recovery (link) and founded the worlds biggest CFS Health online recovery program www.cfshealth.com


  • “It’s the Menopause!” Is my pet hate. Because I developed CFS/ME in my early 50s it’s a conclusion a few people love to jump to!!

    • Yeah, that’s understandable. People would have said that to me if I was that age too. I had all the menopause symptoms without the menopause… because I was 26 when I got it. I was told I had “hormone imbalance” as if all women do and you must get used to it. That felt like being a woman is a life sentence no one prepares you for.


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