20 Things Not to Say To People with Chronic and/or Invisible Illness


Prepare your eyes for the rolling, your lungs for all the sighing and mouth for the comebacks – it’s the list of 20 things not to say to people with chronic illness!

  1. You don’t even look sick.
  2. But you’re going to get better, right?
  3. But you’ve had surgery – aren’t you cured now?
  4. Oh yeah, my (insert inappropriate relative reference here!) had that, and they’re cured now!
  5. Have you tried yoga/breathing exercises/a specific alternative therapy/a specific diet?  That’ll fix anything. 
  6. Oh wait, so you’re still sick?
  7. Doesn’t that just mean (insert inappropriate symptom use here)?  Because I get that all the time and I’m fine.
  8. You take up a lot of healthcare professionals time…
  9. You’re off work again?  What’s wrong this time?
  10. Maybe you should just be more positive.
  11. Are you sure you’re not just doing this for attention?
  12. Maybe you should try and shift some pounds…
  13. I don’t think it can be that bad, it seems like you’re exaggerating.
  14. You never come out with us any more, you always cancel.
  15. There’s no point inviting you because you’ll just cancel last-minute like always.
  16. I thought that medication/treatment/surgery was supposed to cure you?
  17. You’re too young to have that problem.
  18. It’s funny how all your symptoms and/or conditions are not things people can see…
  19. Everybody feels like that once in a while.
  20. I think you take too many medicines – surely they can’t be good for you?  If you stopped I’m sure you’d feel better instantly.


To read more articles in this series;


4 thoughts on “20 Things Not to Say To People with Chronic and/or Invisible Illness

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