Some are more acquainted with chronically ill persons than others, but everyone encounters someone in life who is difficult to deal with because of an ill condition. 

Illness varies across a wide spectrum of physical to mental, mild to severe, temporary to chronic, liveable to terminal. 

An ill person, whether a patient, client, friend or relative can spike concern and/or wear on the people whom he/she is involved with out of the magnitude of pain the person experiences. We need to remember they are in pain & require compassion and understanding. If you are experiencing your own pain/stress, it may be unwise for you to be involved with an ill person unless you can supportively model how to deal with pain healthily.

If you are of a sound enough disposition yourself, here is a list of things you can do to help a chronic physically/mentally ill person (From the perspective of an ill patient):

Consideration:


Showing consideration of the person & their condition helps them feel secure & not alone, left to fend for their self.

Life is harder for an ill person when others are inconsiderate of their pain & invalidate them. For a depressed/grieving person, you can make their day by exercising conscientiousness of what they’re undergoing. 

Mail them a thoughtful letter, leave a happy note on their door/mailbox, or send an empowering text message they start their day with. This shows the person you thought enough of them & want them to have a good day. At the same time, if their pain is too much for them & they don’t have a good day, you don’t hold it against them.

Doing Little Things:


It’s hard for chronically ill people to keep up with all the little things in life. Helping out by doing their laundry,  taking out trash, general cleaning, making dinner, mowing their lawn, or driving them to the grocery store can bring them relief in small ways.

Playing an Active Role/Asking Questions:

Being there for the ill person shows them they’re supported. Asking how they feel & exercising non-judgement & openness for them to answer honestly helps them know they’re cared for & they can trust you. Asking to do something specific (Can I help you out with making dinner?) instead of vaguely “Anything I can do?” makes it so they don’t have to overthink if you really can do something for them. It’s easier for them to know what you can do & want to do for them so they know specifically how you can be of help. Also asking them what the most pressing things are that they are having a hard time with can help you understand if you can be of any help with those particularities or know someone who can.

Listening:


Chronically ill people need reliable supports who can be there to just listen. Sometimes, an ill person can’t hold in the pain & a burst of frustration & difficulty needs vented out. Listening & validating their expression temporarily eases the weight on their shoulders & lets them know it’s okay for them to express themselves & release the pain with someone they can trust. 

Venting is less likely to be misinterpreted in person or through voice over phone. Text message venting is often misconstrued personally & makes life harder for ill people.

Show the person you care about listening in person & over the phone.

Involve Them:

Invite the ill person to dinner, a movie, concert, minigolf, a picnic, something they like or might enjoy & that is fun. Inviting an ill person shows them that they belong & are considered in plans, but most of all that they deserve to have fun.

Don’t leave them hanging or abandon them:


If you make plans with an ill person, try to keep to your word at all costs. Make sure the time you arrange with them is not likely to fall through. You might be the first person in a long time to spend time with the person. Abandoning that commitment may potentially discourage or frustrate them. Keeping the committment encourages that they belong/fit in.

Remind them of their strengths:

Ill people forget their good qualities & strengths under the cloudiness of their pain & circumstances. Remember to point out their strong suits & talents. Complement & encourage them. Tell them what you love about them & what they do. Give them kind suggestions of what they can do better or ways of doing things that might work easier for them.


This list is by no means complete. These are basic things you can take upon yourself to do next time you engage with an ill person. Exercising this criteria can go a long way for improving your part in the ill person’s life to help them improve their wellbeing.

Basics to helping an ill person

Identity Moratorium
I’m the cashier at the store.

I’m the janitor mopping the floor.

I’m the passenger in that wreck.

I’m the victim with bruises on her neck.

I’m the flagger in the construction zone.

I’m the banker who approves that loan.

I’m the homeless man holding cardboard signs.

I’m the meter maid leaving fines.

I’m the barista serving tea.

I’m the addict who O.D.’ed.

I’m the old man in the ambulance.

I’m the photographer at the dance.

I’m the stripper at the club.

I’m the bartender at the pub.

I’m the waitress at the inn.

I’m the doctor delivering twins.

I’m the college student with midterms.

I’m the lawyer at the law firm.

I’m the kid at the laundry mat playing in a basket.

I’m the corpse from the morgue laying in a casket.

I’m that face you see passing by.

I’m that face who never says “hi.”

I’m that ghost you feel passing through

because I very well could be you.

​Identity Moratorium

Flower egg

standing tall atop ivory ticket

to echolocation medicine —

like a dolphin penis.

Bring me your golden fractal,

spiraling blooms.

 

Siamese twin mushrooms

leaning swirled hippie flora

with wise wick.

Bring me your wax caps,

melted Dali perception.

 

Brass redeemer

smoking myrrh-scented zephyrs

of sage purity.

Bring me your freshness–

invigorated with embers.

 

Flower egg

If…

If you have a mother living

who encourages who you are,

you have someone giving

you the propulsion to go far.

If you have a father living

who is loving of what you do,

you have someone forgiving

of hassles you put him through.

If you have a husband

who’s loyal, diligent, & true

you have someone willing

to be there to look out for you.

If you have a wife

who’s forward, comforting, & sweet,

you have someone life-giving

making your family complete.

If you have deep connections–

who uplift through the test of time,

you have supportive directions

who guide you to make the climb.

If you have the right village

to help you raise your child,

you have the reassurance

for your role to be resiled.

But if you only have yourself–

attempting self-love — self-taught,

you can’t be anyone to anyone

because you’re all you’ve got.

Some depression here,

Some anxiety there.

Blotches of autism & A.D.D.

Specks of identity disorders with P.T.S.D.

Splatter in panic attacks and bipolar mania.

Then, continue with a touch of schizophrenia.

Keep going with pandemic addictions coping for a release…

Then, all of a sudden,

you’ve got a lunacy masterpiece.

Bristle in grief, trauma, & abuse,

consumerism, littering, & exploitive pursuits.

Don’t forget endangerment, greed, & rage…

The ‘hive mind,’ oppression, & ‘wars over god’ page.

Add streaks of violence, indifference, &  ethnocentric haze,

alongside gashes of a corrupt political maze.

Mix in hues of neglect & giving a fuck less.

Then, bring it all together by indulging in this mess.

Patients treat patients

in the psych ward of outer space

because the ultimate mental illness 

is the entire human race.

The Ultimate Mental Illness