Annemarie K. Lange - Licensed Professional Counselor

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But she doesn't look sick

But she doesn't look sick?!  Have you ever used your handicapped parking sign and gotten "those looks".  Like we should be able to spot a mile away who is sick enough to be able to use a handicapped sign.  

Here's the startling reality folks, the majority of chronically ill people look just like you and I.  In fact, sometimes they are the images we strive to become.  How often have you seen a person on the street or on the beach and thought "how do they stay so thin?"?  Consider the possibility they stay thin due to their illness, despite their daily efforts to gain weight.

Remember the age old saying, Don't judge a book by its cover?  The simple fact is, you just never know what someone else is going through even if they look "normal"!  Increased awareness of chronic illness is so important; as a society, we need to stop making assumptions on what is only skin deep.  The physical and emotional sides of chronic illness speak volumes - way more than the skinny girl on the beach or the seemingly healthy guy who just parked in the handicapped spot at the mall!

Some suggestions for remaining open minded: 
  • Ask someone "how are you" and take a minute to really hear their answer
  • Make no assumptions!!
  • Recognize there are many different reasons for an individuals appearance/presentation
  • Talk with someone living with chronic illness - take a moment to "walk in their shoes"
  • Honest compassion, friendship and support helps!  Pity does not......offer your love and support as often as you can, even in the smallest of gestures 

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