Please Stop Comparing Your Cold/Flu to My Chronic Illness

Living with an illness is hard enough on its own; you comparing your symptoms to mine doesn’t help.

When you have a cold and get tired, you may take a nap. If that works for you, that’s awesome. But when I’m fatigued taking a nap doesn’t help. So please stop telling me, “Take a nap, you’ll feel better.”


When you have sore muscles from the flu, Tylenol may help you. If it does, that’s awesome. But when my muscles hurt taking Tylenol doesn’t work. So please stop telling me, “Take Tylenol, it’ll help.”

When you compare our symptoms it makes healing that much harder for me. It makes me feel like nothing I try is good enough. What works for you doesn’t work for me. It’s not as easy for me to cure a headache or to relieve my chronic fatigue. It makes me feel like my symptoms don’t exist when I can’t cure them. Your comparisons don’t help; they hurt.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via ARTQU.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Chronic Illness

illustration of woman with long black hair

The Persistence of Happiness in the Face of Illness

I spend a lot of time trying to convince people I am struggling, I am in pain, that this experience has been at best overwhelming and at worst completely devastating. I am desperate for understanding, but somehow I have come to believe that in order to obtain it, happiness and pain cannot exist simultaneously. I [...]
the little mermaid, princess ariel

How I Relate to Princess Ariel as a Chronically Ill Woman

“I wanna be where the people are I wanna see, wanna see them dancing” If you’re unfamiliar with Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” which is likely very few of you (and if you are, you should watch it!), it’s about a mermaid who dreams of being part of the real world, above the sea. She watches [...]
two best friends laughing together

To My Healthy Best Friend, From Your Friend With Chronic Illness

Dear Healthy Best Friend, I love you more than words can say. I am forever thankful for the hours you have spent listening to me cry and complain about medicine, helping me with my infusions and dealing with me while I am on a rough batch of steroids. Thank you for trying to understand my [...]
sun peeking out from behind a cloud

10 Silver Linings of My Illness

Often it can be easy to find ourselves lost in the hardships, negatives, anger and upsets of the things we face, both with illness/disability and other aspects of our lives, but there is more. The clouds of our lives are etched with silver, and here are some of the places I have found it. 1. Because [...]