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The Ridiculous Comments I Get as Someone With an Invisible Illness

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One of the most frustrating things about opening up about an invisible illness diagnosis is the responses you get from people who probably mean well, but don’t know how harmful their comments can be. From bogus miracle cures, to empty platitudes, to inadvertently dismissive remarks, people with invisible illnesses have heard it all.

In my experience, people just want to be heard and to know you care, but they likely don’t want your advice, unless they explicitly ask for it.

So what can you say that actually helps? You can listen. Really listen without chiming in with your own complaints. You can validate someone’s experiences and fears instead of brushing them off or offering platitudes. You can be there when they need help, a shoulder to cry on or just someone to listen to them vent. But please, don’t say any of the following:

I’m sorry to hear that
but it could be worse.
You don’t look that sick,
Must be nice not to work.
My friend has what you have
and she seems just fine.
I knew someone who had
what you have but he died.
Have you tried yoga?
You just need fresh air.
Try crystals, go vegan,
Make sure you try prayer.
Don’t listen to doctors,
they just want to push meds.
Just make sure you never eat dairy or bread.
I’m tired too — I know just how you feel.
I can sell you some oils,
They’re the best way to heal.
Remember the key to your health is your mind,
Just think positively and you’ll be just fine.

Image: Brooke Cagle via Unsplash

Originally published: July 6, 2021
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