How Being Chronically Sick Leads to Shame

Did you do something to cause your illness? What are you not doing to cure it?

These are questions that loom over your head if you suffer from chronic disease. They can be the real or perceived questions from those around you or are ones you personally battle with daily. As if dealing with the physical symptoms were not enough, the emotional experiences attached to chronic disease can be an overwhelming and limiting factor in your healing journey.

If you have a chronic disease, you may experience more social, interactional and existential problems than those with acute illnesses, because your illness persists. Serious illness can pose challenges to your daily lifestyle, prior beliefs, moral judgements, ethical dilemmas, identity and your ways of understanding yourself.

For example, if you are diagnosed with SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), every day presents a challenge. SIBO occurs when bacteria that normally grow in other parts of your gut, start growing in your small...

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