Hates to Hear They Look Great?
Over Half of the Chronically Ill!
DIEGO – AUGUST 2007 — In a recent survey of 611 chronically ill
individuals, done by the National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness
Week committee, 53.27% of the respondents said that the most frustrating
or annoying comment people make about their illness is "But you
look so good!"
telling someone they look good is often seen as a compliment,"
says Lisa Copen, founder of National Invisible Chronic Illness
Awareness Week "it feels like an invalidation of the physical
pain or seriousness of one's illness and the suffering they cope
to Copen, author of Beyond
Casseroles: 505 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend,
statistics show that nearly 1 in 2 people in the USA
have a chronic condition and 96% of it is invisible.
Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week held September 10-16
for 2007, is an outreach to increase awareness that living with
an invisible illness can be emotional challenge—as well as physical—and
that more people than we would imagine are suffering silently.
answered the survey at www.invisbleillness.com
and reported the following other annoying comments people tend
illness is caused by stress." (14.22%)
you stopped thinking about it and went back to work…" (12.42%)
can't be in that much pain. Maybe you just want attention."
pray harder." (9.15%)
Leal, creator of SomeOne Cares Christian Caregiver Conference
and author of The Twenty-Third Psalm for Caregivers says,
"When someone appears physically normal people are less likely
to show understanding and compassion. National Invisible Chronic
Illness Awareness Week is an important opportunity to help families,
businesses, churches, and communities understand that conditions
without an outward sign are just as debilitating as other more
visible illnesses and disabilities."
38, who has lived with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia for
fifteen years agrees. "We know that 75% of marriages impacted
by illness end in divorce and 70% of suicides have uncontrollable
physical pain as a factor.* There are hundreds of invisible illness
such as diabetes, cancer, myasthenia
gravis, fibromyalgia, chronic
fatigue syndrome and Crohn's disease as well as mental
illness and conditions such as bulimia or migraines.
Regardless of one's illness or level of pain, feeling isolated
and misunderstood can be emotionally devastating. We are each
responsible for learning how to effectively show compassion and
understanding to those we can about, including the chronically
Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week's web site has articles,
resources and will feature twenty online seminars during Sept
10-14, 2007. Guests include Maureen Pratt, author of Peace
in the Storm: Meditations on
Chronic Pain and Illness and Jenni Prokopy, founder
of ChronicBabe.com. Outreach materials include t-shirts, silicone
awareness bracelets and rack cards, appropriate for support groups
or the work place state what to say and not say to a chronically
theme for 2007's invisible illness week campaign is "Living with
invisible illness is a roller coaster. Help a friend hold on!"
more information see http://www.invisibleillness.com
or call 888-651-7378. National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness
Week is sponsored by Rest Ministries, a Christian organization
that serves the chronically ill and HopeKeepers Magazine.
* Sources: National Health Interview Survey / Mackenzie TB, Popkin
MK: "Suicide in the medical patient.". Intl J Psych in Med 17:3-22,
Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week
888.751.7378 – www.invisibleillness.com