It seems so strange to me that so many people have an opinion about chronically ill sufferers and feel entitled to voice it.

Seriously.

Yesterday, a lady I had never met before and who had no idea who I was or what my illness was felt completely comfortable telling me, “it’s all about attitude. If you believe you will get better, you will. You should try…”

I was surprised by this level of uninvited judgement she felt comfortable sharing with me! Would it have been ok to do that to her?

It was obvious to me by her appearance that I could guess her nationality, which I could have used to make my own sweeping statements and generalisations about what she could or should do. But I believe that this behaviour is not appropriate or respectful and to make assumptions about people based on their gender, nationality, faith, religion, education and sexuality is just plain wrong! Apparently it’s ok to judge the sick!

In fact, it’s so common that it is rare when people don’t judge or form their own medical conclusions. Even though they aren’t doctors or in your body.

The chronically ill are constantly told how we should eat and to “…try that, change this, take this, be more something…” and so on and so forth.

All judgements made about us without even the slightest clue about our illness, what we have tried, what we have done, or what we do everyday!

It’s insulting. It’s ridiculous. And it’s rude!

I have never walked up to a complete stranger and told them how to live their life or passed judgement on what type of person they are or what they should do better. And… I know I never would.

It happens so regularly that I felt it worth blogging about. I believe that it illustrates the level of disrespect that the chronically ill and ‘invisibly disabled’ are subjected to. We’re probably some of the most openly disrespected group of people around.

I invite you all to consider this carefully and to ask yourself what we can do, or what we might try to do, to combat this behaviour and reclaim our rights to respect and consideration. I think that is the least we deserve after all we have been through.

Trish Dyne

Trish advocates for autoimmune fighters, their carers and supporters. For more from Trish, you can visit her website.

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