Things people say to chronic fatigue sufferers 〰 Fibro Diaries #02

If you're someone who has a chronic illness or knows someone that does, you've most likely heard one of these statements. A chronic illness can be something physical like Fibromyalgia or Lupus, or something mental, like Depression and Anxiety. There are so, so many chronic illnesses, and an estimated 15 million people that are suffering with them in the UK alone.

Here's a list of things that we are completely and totally fed up of hearing, and a few personal responses to them too. 

Please note: The responses are what my inner-response is when I hear or read these things being said to myself or others. I'm not speaking for anyone else, but I would love to read your responses down below too! 

I think this is one we've all heard if we suffer from anything chronic. It seems to sting more when it's about something you can't change from positive thoughts alone, physical, mental or emotional.

I also had an occupational therapist tell me that I shouldn't discuss my symptoms with other sufferers because that's 'far too negative'.

You know when you have one of those really bad colds and you get to the stage where you're drinking chicken soup with a straw whilst hanging your head over steamy water and waiting for a Lemsip to cool down? That's what we go through to help ourselves everyday, so as much as we appreciate you're trying to offer something new, it's highly unlikely that it isn't something we've already tried.

You didn't look like you had a water infection at grandma's party last week, but did it make it feel any less painful or irritating?

You know, maybe it is. But my head isn't going anywhere soon, so that suggestion isn't going to make it any less draining. Also, just do some simple Google searches for politeness if you know me well enough, if not, I most likely don't want your suggestions anyway, unless you're a trained medical professional.

Yes, Karen, it probably would be easier if we could just snap back into our old painless bodies, lost a few pounds and just snapped back, (or not). But now we live in a world where lifting a cup of tea can cause agony, so less of that, thanks.

Wow, imagine.

Other than being just plain rude, this is one hideous thing to say to chronic illness sufferers. Some days it can be completely overwhelming and terrifying for a lot of us, and absolutely no one needs to be reminded of that.

So, I know, I'm pretty passive aggressive surrounding these by now, and I'm very sure the people saying them, think they're helping - but that's the whole reason for this blog post. You're not going to be a person's saviour by offering solutions that I can promise you they've already tried or at least read up about.

I really would hope that these things haven't been said to you, if you're a sufferer, but I feel as though a lot of you would be able to relate to this, sadly. Share this with your friends and family to try and make a few more people think about the words they choose to say to people going through an illness.



  1. I can't believe people have actually said these things, especially the OT saying it's far too negative! Ordinarily I wouldn't wish pain on people but if they felt half your symptoms for a day I'm sure none of these people would be so quick to butt in

    1. I know! I can't either sometimes. The OT made that comment in a Fibromyalgia group setting, other members of the group said they felt as though it helped determine which symptoms were FM, and which they needed to get checked out separately which I agree with - but she still wasn't going to agree! Thankfully, everyone continued when we had a different OT working with us, but it made all of us feel uncomfortable about it. & I completely agree! A little empathy can go a long way!

  2. These are so ridiculous that it's amusing. I know people say these things I've heard them many times and they are angering, but once again, so ridiculous that I kind of just have to laugh as well. I completely agree with your passive aggressive voice in response to these haha!

    1. Yeah I totally agree, sometimes you just have to learn to laugh about them, don't you! Haha, I'm glad you enjoyed reading it! ^.^

  3. "Imagine the pain you'll be at my age!"
    Umm...I do imagine. I imagine it every day. Every day when the fibro-monster flares up or stops me from being able to do something basic, I think about that very thing. I think and worry that I'm just going to get slowly, progressively worse. That I'm not going to be able to do anything about it. That I'll eventually end up a twisted, contorted, mass of pain, who can't get out of bed, but has the occasional benefit of total brain-fog amping up and leaving me so out of it, I don't know how bad things are. Yeah. I think about it. What a stupid fecking question to ask someone. Whoever asks that, deserves a slap. Would they say the same thing to a terminal cancer patient? "Oh gosh, can you imagine how much agony you're going to be in, six months from now?" I don't think so. Not unless they're a complete sociopath. But hey, it's fibromyalgia. It's largely invisible. It doesn't count. I'm a free speech absolutist, so I'm behind supporting everyone's right to say what they want. That means that whilst I'm annoyed and disgusted by this kind of insensitive comment, I'll never try to restrain anyone from making it. But by that same token they need to realise that I can respond to them, with enough rudeness, cruelty & vitriol to put them right in their place. Gotta love free speech.


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