"They dont believe me when I say I am ill."
Some people who are living with illness deal with a lack of belief either from someone they love or from professionals - medical or otherwise.
Sadly, disbelief and illness can go hand and hand.
Even if someone does believe you are ill, you may feel disbelieved if they do not express sympathy and do not offer you help when you need it.
Encountering disbelief can be all the more common or all the more upsetting for those living with invisible illnesses such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Myalgic
CFS / ME is one of the chronic illnesses where you may not look sick. There are many illnesses like this. Many people with cancer look wonderfully healthy.
You may learn health management skills.
You may find the right level of exercise for you - not too much exercise, not too little.
You may find a good diet for CFS/ME and take up alternative healing methods.
It takes work to improve your health management. It can be so frustrating to find that instead of your hard work being acknowledged, you are left feeling, "They dont believe me when I say I am ill."
It may help to remember that even if you had an illness with clear tests available and a clear treatment pathway, you might still have the experience that people don't believe you. No one can know how much pain or discomfort another person is feeling.
Equally they cannot know your wonderful capacity for joy and for moments of profound peace. :-)
It is crazy-making if you encounter disbelief when you are ill.
You may need to use healing methods to work to keep your sense of sanity.
can feel lonely to find out that someone
is not willing to share your life with you once you live with chronic
You may want to find a physical or online community of people with the same chronic illness to bolster your sense of connection and of being seen and accepted as you are.
Disbelief delays you from grieving a loss of health
If someone is not sympathetic, doesn't believe you are ill, or doesn't help you in a time of illness, it may delay you from feeling your grief about being ill and moving towards acceptance:
You may switch between the early stages of grief – denial and anger – and in this way you may avoid the normal feelings of grief over being ill which help you to move forward in accepting an illness.
If you are experiencing disbelief in a time of illness, you may want to improve your communication skills.
I recommend: The Dance of Anger by Harriet Goldhor Lerner.
I have also read enough of Non-Violent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg to be able to recommend it highly.
Both books have hundreds of 5 star reviews on Amazon. You can buy the books on Amazon using the links above.
Learning communication skills can improve your chances of communicating your needs to another. But please know that there will be people who still don't believe you are ill even when you explain clearly and calmly.
I know it can be hard, but please be willing to believe yourself even if someone else doesn't.
You have little influence over another person. But you can work (or play) to overcome any disbelief about illness in your own mind. Here are some questions to get you started.
One of the reasons disbelief and illness can go together is because
someone wants you to continue to play a certain role in their life.
Click through to learn about the many family roles that sickness makes it harder for you to play.
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