A few things to understand about chronic illness:
- Chronic illness can mean your friend has chronic pain and has to make adjustments to many aspects of their life. The following might help you understand what they’re going through:
- Illness can often affect a person’s mobility or independence and that this is often a huge adjustment for a young person to make;
- Bad days really suck and the frustration can sometimes be overwhelming and people aren’t as patient or relaxed as they usually are;
- Illnesses don’t always make sense. On Monday your friend may be fine, and by Tuesday they could be in tears with pain. “Flare ups” can start in a matter of minutes (e.g. Asthma attacks)…or may come on over days and so plans may need to be adjusted or postponed. Flare ups are often difficult to predict;
- If they seem to disappear off the social radar for a while, it may just be that they’re not feeling well at the time and not that they don’t want to catch up or go out;
- No two people are the same even if suffering with the same condition.
- They are still the same person. Illness DOES NOT define a person.