We Have to Stop Blaming Chronically Ill People for Getting Sick

I am sick of being made to feel like getting sick was my fault, and that staying sick is my fault.

People who are chronically ill cannot always be blamed for being chronically ill.

I recently had an encounter with a disability lawyer, who told me my pain is a self-fulfilling prophecy, and if I just stop thinking I’m going to be in pain, I won’t be in pain.

…Uh huh. Last time I checked, that’s not how pain works, especially when I told you how it’s caused by my genetic connective tissue disease that causes me frequent joint dislocations and subluxations. But OK mister, you keep living in whatever dreamland you inhabit!

He’s not the only one who’s suggested this over the years. It’s just especially ignorant because he happens to be a disability lawyer! But unfortunately, this isn’t the first time I’ve been blamed for my illness or for perpetuating it.

I was recently reading a book about healing with essential oils, that said chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and even allergies are all caused by nutritional issues. I’m not here to hate on essential oils or nutritional adjustments as ways to help improve your health. But nutrition is most certainly not always to blame and is not the only factor that leads to these diseases developing.

I know, yes, it can help improve symptoms for some people and maybe there are people out there who have gone into remission or something because of changing their diet. I’m by no means against anything that helps anybody!

The problem is when we use controllable factors, like nutrition or exercise, to continually blame sick people for being sick.

Again, yes, there are cases where controllable factors are to blame for some illnesses. But even in a great number of those cases, there are often other factors, like genetics and family history, to be considered that are contributing as well.

I’m just so tired of feeling so guilty for something that was beyond my control.

I was 18 when I got sick, I was training at a pre-professional level to become a ballet dancer, I was about to leave for college at Purdue University. I was young and happy and healthy. I wasn’t “supposed” to get sick. But guess what? I did.


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