Being A Friend to Someone with Chronic Illness

In saw something a doctor said about people who live with chronic pain. He basically said that people who live with chronic pain learn how to not let it show and go about life not letting many people know. He also said that the pain many people with chronic pain live with would cause a person without a chronic illness or condition be flat on the floor.

Perhaps it is a but of an exaggeration, but there is truth in it. People who live with chronic illnesses or conditions can tend to not let on to most people what they are going through. We hear things like- but you don’t look sick. maybe you just have stress, have you tried yoga, the list goes on and on.

My friend Barbara of shared something she found about people living with chronic illness with me:

If you have a friend living with chronic illness, these are some good things to keep in mind.

Some other suggestions I would have are:

Pray for your friend.

Spend an evening with them at their home watching movies.

Help them with cleaning or things they need done.

Chat with them on social media.

I am fortunate that my chronic illnesses do not prevent me from enjoying activities. I am wise in which ones I join in on and yes there are times I leave early because of fatigue.

Also please be careful about offering advice. There probably isn’t much advice your friend hasn’t heard and if it is a clique or ‘common sense’ it probably won’t help.

Just some thoughts if you have a friend living with chronic illness.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.


46 thoughts on “Being A Friend to Someone with Chronic Illness

  1. Truth. I have a well meaning friend who will see some infomercial and then tell me all about it and encourage me to try it. Over and over and over. He is teaching me patience and graciousness. I’ve also heard no end of visiting a major center, finding the right doctor and “not giving up.” Usually from people who have made a idol of our health care system and are threatened by any instance that demonstrates their fallibility.

  2. This post really opened my eyes to things that I thought I knew but I’m not sure I am conscious of it while dealing with my friends…..its a good list brother….
    I guess when you don’t know what to say/do/react, it’s best to just ‘pray for your friend’ like you mentioned above….πŸ™πŸΌπŸŽ€πŸ’πŸ§ΈπŸΌπŸŽ¨πŸ§”

      1. πŸ™πŸΌπŸ’πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€—β€πŸŽ€πŸ§”πŸ§ΈπŸΌπŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€—

  3. Some wise thoughts there, friend. Very relatable. It has taken years, but there are some in my church finally getting why I have to be so selective in what I volunteer for, why I cannot pursue a traditional career anymore, etc., but I still encounter so many who still just don’t understand. I will definitely save this list. πŸ™‚

  4. Very good and informative post. Andrew and I can definitely relate to all of the things mentioned in the thing that Barb shared. Unfortunately, we kind of get forgotten a lot by family. People really don’t understand. It can take many years before family members begin to understand, if they ever do. Sometimes people just need to show compassion even if they don’t understand.

  5. Thanks for sharing this list big brother. It’s a help to better understand those who are suffering through chronic illnesses. Some of these symptoms I see in my mom.

  6. Thank you for these gentle and wise insights. Such good reminders to something that is hard for people to understand unless they are experiencing chronic illness themselves.

      1. Yes. Just that sometimes we have to be mindful about β€˜what will actually help’ and your post highlights that, which I find wonderful.

  7. Thanks for sharing this, my friend. I do pray for my friend with chronic illness, most times when I’m not feeling well, they inspire me to speak less, especially when what I want to do is complain. I do thank the Lord for their faith and their bravery in the face of contact pain

  8. Thank you so much for sharing this! I live with chronic health conditions and physical limitations and they definitely impacts relationships!

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