Informational Posts / My Personal Experiences / Supporting a Thyroid Patient

When People Don’t Take Our Health Conditions Seriously

When People Don't Take Our Health Conditions Seriously
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It happens most days. Someone, a stranger or even someone I personally know, doesn’t take my hypothyroidism and other health issues seriously.

Insulting and upsetting comments are made and I tend to fill with frustration. 

My health conditions are regarded by most as ‘not being that serious’. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if I am fatigued, cold, aching and avoiding foods that make them worse.

Unhelpful Comments 

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 overreacting, 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.

They Did Take Over My Life

I had over twenty separate symptoms when undiagnosed and not properly treated for my hypothyroidism and adrenal issues.  They took control of my life and almost ruined my life. They are devastating conditions.

When people refuse to acknowledge that, and even imply that how I 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 thyroid patients), this is nothing short of disrespectful and hurtful.

I am often left to feel like my health conditions are also 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 and my health. They are being unkind and all thyroid patients know that this is likely because that particular 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 etc. it would be classed as bullying, discrimination, wrong and not acceptable. Yet my health conditions, which almost ruined my life, are not taken seriously. It’s alright to discriminate and mock them.

I am sick of people not understanding and just dismissing thyroid disorders.

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.

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!’.

Related post: 11 ‘Harmless’ Things Said by Doctors That Actually Hurt Thyroid Patients

Have you experienced people making these kinds of ignorant comments?

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.

You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given.

See also:

You, Me and Hypothyroidism Book CoverYou, Me and Hypothyroidism: When Someone You Love Has Hypothyroidisma book for those who know someone with hypothyroidism.

About Author

Rachel Hill is the highly ranked and multi-award winning thyroid patient advocate, writer, speaker and author behind The Invisible Hypothyroidism. Her thyroid advocacy work includes writing articles, authoring books, producing her Thyroid Family email newsletters and speaking on podcasts and at events about the many aspects thyroid disease affects and how to overcome these. She is well-recognised as a crucial and influential contributor to the thyroid community and has a large social media presence. Her bestselling books include "Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate" and "You, Me and Hypothyroidism".

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