Best Self Magazine

What Not to Say to Someone Living with Chronic Illness

What Not to Say to Someone Living with Chronic Illness by Sweta Vikram. Photograph of two people holding hands by Priscilla Du Perez
Photograph by Priscilla Du Perez

I know… You want to say something kind, something inspiring, but sometimes it’s better just to listen

The question is not how to get cured, but how to live.

—Joseph Conrad

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 6 out of 10 adults in the United States have a chronic illness. Chronic diseases are ongoing, generally incurable illnesses or conditions, such as heart disease, asthma, cancer, diabetes, and many more. Science tells us that these diseases are often preventable, and frequently manageable through early detection, improved diet, exercise, and treatment therapy. That said…

Unless you live or have lived with a chronic illness, you don’t know how debilitating it can feel.

It takes

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