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5 Ways My Family Can Help Me Face My Chronic Illness

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Since I developed multiple chronic illnesses, I have had people stand by my side and others who have turned their backs. Those who have continued to stand by me always wish there was something they could do, and they ask if there’s anything they can do.

Here are some suggestions of what you can do to support someone with a chronic illness:

1. Support them. Everybody needs support. But, those with chronic illnesses need a lot because they constantly have people telling them they are making their illness up or that it really isn’t that bad.

2. Listen to them. Sometimes all we need is someone to listen to us. Some days we just need to vent and get everything off our chests. Keeping everything bottled up isn’t good for anyone and the extra stress makes symptoms worse. Just listen to us and don’t worry about giving advice. Getting to talk to someone is sometimes better.

3. Don’t judge them. We are trying everything we can because we just want to feel better. Sometimes we have to do controversial treatments in order to get results. We are following what our doctors believe are the best options for us.

4. Be willing to learn about the diagnosis. Some people have never heard of our diagnosis. Ask questions. We are willing to explain it to you or provide you with sources that can explain what we have in simpler terms. I would rather be asked a million questions than have someone not understand what I’m going through.

5. Try to understand what I’m going through. I know there is no way for you to know exactly what I’m going through, but try to be understanding. I have to live with this illness everyday which causes anger, frustration, sadness, and anxiety. Be understanding of these emotions and don’t try to avoid them. They are going to come up, and we just need someone to help us.

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Thinkstock Image By: Jacob Ammentorp Lund

Originally published: March 8, 2017
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