Common Misconceptions About the Chronically Ill

Misconception #1: You look fine therefore you must feel fine

This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions about the chronically ill. People with a chronic illness may look fine on the outside but that doesn’t necessarily mean they feel fine on the inside. Not everyone who has a chronic condition is in a wheelchair or walks around with a limp. In fact, most chronic illnesses are invisible.

Misconception #2: It must be so great not to have to work

Sure, it sounds great to a lot of people not to have to work…if they had the choice. Most of the time, people with chronic illness are not working because they can’t. Most people with chronic illness would gladly trade their illness for the 40 hour work week again.

Misconception #3: Getting more rest will make you feel better

For a lot of people with chronic illness, rest is helpful. But it may not make them feel drastically better. It’s not going to make their symptoms go away and it may not mean that they are then going to feel well enough to go to an event or social engagement.

Misconception #4: Chronically ill people are just lazy

Chronically ill people are not lazy. Most wish they could engage in the mundane chores and tasks that most people complain about. They would gladly do the dishes, take out the trash, and pick up the dog poop if they could. They would be happy to work eight hours, take the kids to practice, clean the house, help the kids with their homework and cook dinner all in one day if it meant they didn’t have a chronic condition that was keeping them from doing these things.

Misconception #5: If someone with a chronic illness is out living their life they must not really feel that bad

Just because someone with a chronic illness isn’t at home in bed all of the time doesn’t mean they’re not really sick or that they don’t really feel that bad. There are still things that need to be done despite having a chronic illness, like getting a few groceries or walking the dog down the street. People who have chronic illnesses do these things despite feeling horrible some of the time. It is a part of life with a chronic illness.