[Image shows three spoons on a laptop keyboard, overlaid is clipart of torn white notebook paper with a red paper clip. On the paper in black text reads “Stop Suggesting Cures for the Chronically Ill/Disabled” and includes a flat faced smiley face but without a smile, just a straight line.]
For some reason when you are chronically ill or disabled, people find it necessary to suggest advice, often unsolicited, on ways they think will solve all of our problems. Often times they come from a place of not knowing what else to say, or trying to be helpful, without realizing that this is what we have doctors for, or that if we were interested in holistic medicine, we would ask or look into it ourselves.
Of course sometimes you just have to laugh at some of the ridiculous things that are suggested at times. I asked people with chronic illnesses/disabilities to tell me some of the most ridiculous things suggested to them as cures, some of the answers were simple such as “Have you tried yoga?” to more out there suggestions such as exorcisms. Here are some of their answers:
- “You don’t need a bottle that rattles. You just need sunshine and running shoes.”
- “Homeopathy for a neurological tremor disorder.” -Calandra Moore
- “An exorcism….no joke.” -Jillian Marcaccio
- “Lose weight and quit smoking to improve my congenital deafness because both of those decrease blood flow….” -Brianna Ebeling Butler
- “Eliminate red dyes…. they legit told my mom to not give caffeine, chocolate, or red dye and it would help.” -Lexie Moore
- “Colloidal Silver. The stuff that turns you into a smurf.” -Jason Whackolas
- “Just think ~happy thoughts~.” -Ashley McKay Brash
- “I’m not kidding, I’m not making this up, my manager thinks if I find my true love my heart problems will stop.” -Rosaline Clark
- “Getting pregnant and having a kid, ‘it just resets everything’.” -Liz Gardner
- “That my joints would hurt less if I stop wearing jeans.” -Allyson Marie Sutphin
- “Taking a bath would help ease my depression.” -Caleb Rose
- “The suggestion that the medicine itself is what is making me progressively sicker, and the suggested remedy is to “just stop taking your medicine.”” -Gretchen Meunier
- “Listen to music. Calm Down. Be Happy. (Depression)” -Haylee McNally
- “I was told that just getting over it and being happy would cure my PTSD, anxiety, and depression…” -Olivia Parsons
- “I’ve heard praying or as people have told me “you’re not praying and believing hard enough”, someone even told me I must not be a good enough or true Christian otherwise I’d be cured by now.” -Ari Dennis
When you look at some of the things suggested, from people with no medical experience, it just seems bizarre. If you’re one of those people who swear your essential oils, or wraps, or multivitamins will cure people who doctors are unable to cure, please reconsider.
You are only playing into the stigma that chronically ill/disabled people are just not trying hard enough to be normal/healed, and that it is our fault for being sick since we refuse to try some of the ridiculous suggestions given to us. If there was science backing it up, I would give it a consideration, and maybe talk to my doctor.
Ultimately, I trust my doctor who went to medical school over someone who believes vaccines cause autism and that holistic medicine can cure anything and that “Big Pharma” is just hiding cures for things.
So before you offer unsolicited advice, even if you have good intentions, think about whether or not you are really helping, or just hurting. Thank you.