Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Unsolicited Advice

If there is one thing that annoys me more than anything about being chronically ill, it is receiving unsolicited advice. This post is for those of you, who like myself, have been subjected to unwanted and unsolicited advice.

A few examples of the unsolicited advice I've been given before:

You shouldn't take those toxic medicines. Interestingly, most of the people who offer me 'advice' like this do not have lupus. I don't take my toxic medications for fun, I take them because they keep me alive.

My friend has your illness and he doesn't need medication for it. Well good for him! But everyone is different. No two lupus sufferers are ever the same, because it affects each patient differently with a wide variety of potential symptoms that require a wide variety of potential meds to treat it

My aunt has that condition and she treated it herself with [insert whacky remedy]. Please see above. Unfortunately, I'd like to add that there is no miracle cure for lupus and I'm sure once a cure is found, us lupies will be the first to know!

You just need to exercise. It's not quite so easy to exercise when just standing up is enough to wipe you out for the rest of the day. NEXT!
 
Take echinicea [or any other substance that increases immune system activity]. No thanks, my immune system definitely does not require any extra help...it does enough damage on it's own!

Those painkillers are addictive, you shouldn't take them. Would you like to swap bodies with me for 24 hours???
All you need to do is think positive. Okay, here's a deal. We swap bodies for 24 hours and I'll tell you to 'think positive'. Most likely you'll want to decapitate me. If you had the energy to.





Most people who dish out unsolicited advice to an ill person do not actually have the illness themselves and most likely are not licensed, qualified healthcare professionals; the most they will know about your illness is not very much, if anything at all. Unlike me, they can go about their everyday lives, working, studying, whatever, without depending on other people for even my most basic needs. Life with lupus is an unrelenting round of flares, medications, medical appointments, health crises and everything else. I do not have time for unsolicited advice and it will not help me. I just want to make it through the day.


Should you be the unfortunate receiver of unsolicited and unwanted advice, here are a few tips from from www.invisibledisabilites.org:

"...if you decide that the unsolicited advice is not wanted, you can try to ignore it. But sometimes people do not take a hint. So if you can no longer ignore the advice-giving, I found several responses that you can give, depending how polite or direct you want to be:
  • “Thank you, I’ll take that into consideration.”
  • “That’s a good idea, but I have my own way of handling this."
  • “I am glad that works for you. There are so many different ways of doing things.”
  • “Thanks, but I’m fine.”
  • “Thanks, but I don’t really need advice. I’m already researching a solution.”
  • “I’ll ask for advice if I need it.”

Or you can always try some funny or sarcastic comment and see if they stop…*

People offering advice have many motives. They may want to offer 'advice' for one/some/all of the following reasons:

  • They are trying to help
  • They feel powerless and do not know how to help you in any other way.
  • They are nosy and interfering.
  • They believe every health scare story they read in the papers.
  • They simply do not understand what it is like to have a chronic illness.
  • They're looking for new customers.
  • They have had a bad experience with conventional medicine."

*http://www.invisibledisabilities.org/coping-with-invisible-disabilities/relationships/unsolicited-advice/

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