Supporting Someone with Chronic Illness

Over the years, I’d like to think that I have developed some valuable insights about how to provide support for someone with chronic illness. If nothing else, I have certainly learned what is absolutely not useful for individuals facing long-term medical conditions.

People who have chronic illnesses need to feel validated in their ongoing struggles. They don’t need your pity, but they do require empathy. They also need to be reassured that their efforts are noticed, even for completion of seemingly mundane, everyday tasks.

Individuals with chronic illness shouldn’t have their symptoms minimized, nor should they be unfairly subjected to comparisons of others who happen to share the same medical diagnosis.

Please realize that someone who has been living with an uncurable condition has most likely researched an enormous variety of potential treatment options, including traditional and alternative treatment options.

They may have already tried to implement such treatments, having achieved varying degrees of success. As a result, it’s quite unlikely that your well-intentioned advice will necessarily be met with wild enthusiasm.

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