Friday, January 30, 2015

Ways to support someone with a Chronic Illness

When I first started experiencing chronic pain, I had no idea what was going on, nor did the people around me. It was very confusing for everyone and definitely a learning experience for us all. If you know someone that suffers from a chronic illness, these things may help you in supporting them emotionally and/or physically.

  • Get to know the illness - Try to take this time to learn about the illness together. Learn what it is, things that trigger it, coping skills, and pain management techniques. 

  • Understand that it is real - Even though the pain is not visible, it is there and it hurts. Just knowing that the people around me understand that it is real, makes me feel less alone.

  • Be a good listener - I feel so much better when I have someone to talk to about how I feel, things I'm going through, and my stresses. One of my triggers is stress, so having someone to talk to really helps.

  • Help out - Offer to help around the house, cook meals, clean, shop, etc. Anything to help the person feel that you are there for them, when they are not physically able to take on everything for themselves

  • Have patience - Try to understand that the person suffering with a chronic illness could be going through many emotions, such as anger, sadness, depression, etc. In result, these emotions could sometimes cause the person to feel or act different. I tend to become more irritable and upset when I am hurting the most. During these times, it helps when someone lets me know or feel like they are there for me

- What are some things that help you feel supported by a loved one or friend, when suffering from a chronic illness?


  1. When I don't have to say a word at all they can see it in my face and know I need help... this always makes me feel better and when someone is understanding all on their own with out me asking for it.

    1. Hi Meg! I agree, those are two things that definitely help me feel better emotionally. Thank you, very much, for sharing. :)

  2. The one thing that hurts worse than the pain I'm in everyday is when you listen to your body when she says you have "overdone it" and have to cancel last minute on your best friend and then she proceeds to barely (if at all) speak to you for the next month and a half. Sometimes people just get tired of hearing it, especially when we "don't look sick" or have been feeling "pretty good" for a while. It's so hard for people even friends who have seen us at our worst to understand that my "feeling pretty good" is still like their "flu-like symptoms" when we push ourselves through it so much of the time. It sucks and it hurts to be rejected and shut out more than any chronic pain could ever hurt me. #realtalk

    1. Hi Amanda! Exactly.. I can completely relate. Sometimes I feel like my boyfriend gets tired of hearing it, even though he is very supportive. I found that it really helped me to reach out to other people online, that are coping with the same thing or something similar. That way I will have the emotional support I need, even if I'm not getting it from people in my every day life. Although, I do understand how that can hurt being rejected and shut out by other people. I'm here to support you, if you need it. =)