How many times has somebody judged the severity of your chronic illness by your appearance?
What about observing you perform one activity or task without issue?
These unfair judgments can lead to loss or denial of disability benefits. They can also be the reason your health insurance refuses to pay towards accessibility aids needed to function.
In my latest article for HU PsA, I talk about the pain and disabilities that cannot be seen. Because it is the unseen that is ruining our lives.
Although I wrote this article with psoriatic arthritis as the focal illness, the points I touch upon are relatable to pretty much any chronic illness. They definitely relate to all of mine!
Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my coffee drinking habit if you use these links to make a purchase. You will not be charged extra, and you’ll keep me supplied with caffeine. It’s a win for everyone. I am not a medical professional, and nothing stated in this article should be mistaken for medical advice…
But You Don’t Look Sick
“But you don’t look sick!” Whenever I hear those words, I want to respond with: “That’s because I am sick, not ugly!”
Looks are deceiving. It doesn’t matter if people feel like those words will make us feel better. It is never right to judge a person’s health status based upon appearance. And here is why:
Psoriatic Arthritis Is More Than What You See
As I learned early on, a lack of visible symptoms does not mean that the disease is gone. When first diagnosed with psoriasis, it covered my body from head to toe. Soon I went from having a few breakouts to none.
I went so long between breakouts that I had put that diagnosis out of my mind. That was until I went to see a rheumatologist for fibromyalgia relief.
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Read my chronic life story here for more examples of how people have wrongly judged my chronic illnesses.
One thought on “Why It Is Wrong to Judge Someone with Chronic Illness by How They Look”
“That’s because I am sick, not ugly!” 😆 I like that!
It’s hard to know how to respond to such ignorance sometimes, and it can be as hurtful as it is frustrating. We already feel like those around us don’t “get” what we’re going through, we’re mindful of the judgement of strangers, we’re disbelieved by doctors. Judgements based on how we look are not accurate, and they serve to reinforce the negative feelings we already have. I’ve many times heard that I look good or well. Sometimes I get told I look like shit, usually by my mum as I appreciate her honesty 😂 But whether I look “good” or like hell, it’ll never show even a fraction of what I’m feeling.
Fantastic post lovely.