It happens most days. Someone, a stranger or someone I personally know, doesn’t take my hypothyroidism, poor circulation and adrenal fatigue seriously. Insulting and upsetting comments are made and I fill with rage.
My health conditions, mentioned above, are regarded by most as ‘not being that serious’. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if I am fatigued, cold, aching and/or avoiding ‘bad foods’ because of them.
Comments are made like “Stop being so dramatic”, “Grow some balls”, “Stop being a spoil-sport”, “You’re always moaning”, “If you’re cold, go put your coat on then”, “You’re always tired”, “You get so stressed easily”, “Just eat it this one time, it doesn’t matter”. Nothing hurts like being told/or it being implied, that I am over reacting, that my health conditions are not serious or that I am exaggerating and nothing hurts like someone belittling health conditions that take control of your life.
I had over 20 separate symptoms when undiagnosed/not properly treated for my Hypothyroidism and Adrenal Fatigue. They took control of my life and almost ruined it. They are devastating conditions.
When people refuse to acknowledge that, and even imply that how you feel does not count, against what they want, i.e. a window open, putting a fan on, to go out somewhere requiring a lot of energy and for you to just eat something this one time to make their life easier, when you have to adhere to a strict diet for your symptoms to feel better (i.e. avoiding gluten is a big one that often helps), this is nothing short of disrespectful and hurtful.
I am often left to feel like my health conditions are somehow my fault. But they are not. They are not your fault either.
I did not ask for them, I do my absolute best to cope with them and I can’t help having any subsequent symptoms or problems because of them.
But sometimes others refuse to acknowledge the struggles, and often, do what’s best for themselves even if it negatively impacts me because of my health. They are being disrespectful and all thyroid patients know that this is likely because said person knows very little, if anything, about what it is like for us as thyroid patients.
If you were to make a comment about someone else’s weight, eating habits, appearance, race, accent etc. it would be classed as bullying, discrimination, wrong and not acceptable. Yet my health conditions, which almost ruined my life last year by the way, in every way possible.. nah, that’s not serious. It’s alright to discriminate and mock that, a long with not taking it seriously.
I am sick of people not understanding and just dismissing it. I am so sick of it. Thyroid patients deserve respect as well and people who seemingly mock us or dismiss the fact that we struggle to cope sometimes, should be ashamed of themselves. It’s never too late for them to change, but if they repeatedly refuse to acknowledge your needs, feelings and struggles even in your day to day life, you’re best to remove them from your life.
Please treat us like someone with a condition you already know about, and has more awareness than thyroid disease and adrenal fatigue etc. For example: diabetes, post-stroke, arthritis, asthma, to name just a few. I am not disrespecting these conditions, I am happy in fact that they get the understanding and awareness that they deserve, but thyroid disease for example, not one person I know knew where it is in the body, when I was first diagnosed. Nobody knew what it was, or what it’s responsible for either. Let alone that it can go wrong and cause horrendous problems for people.
If they don’t know what it’s like, you can try to inform them. But if they repeatedly still refuse to acknowledge this, it’s time to say ‘bye!’.
You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given.
Please remember that if you’re a thyroid patient living with poor mental health or lingering physical symptoms, that you don’t have to live this way. To address why you may still be feeling unwell (often despite being on thyroid medication too), please see this article and go through each suggestion, putting your thyroid jigsaw back together.
Written by Rachel, The Invisible Hypothyroidism
Rachel is a Thyroid Patient Advocate and Expert with Six 2018 WEGO Health Award Nominations. She is a highly ranked writer appearing in the Top Hypothyroidism Websites and Top Thyroid Websites 2018. Currently studying for relevant qualifications and certificates in Life Coaching, Diet and Nutrition, Reflexology and more, she has worked with The National Academy of Hypothyroidism, The BBC, The Mighty, Dr. Hedberg, Thyroid UK and ThyroidChange, to name just a few. She is well recognised as a trusted and useful contributor to the thyroid community.