Chronic illness is far more common than public discourse would have us believe. A mixture of stigma, erasure, and a tendency to undermine people's health struggles if they're not dying before our eyes has led to a culture that buries conversations around chronic illness and disability.
As defined by the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP), chronic illness includes any: “conditions that last 1 year or more and require ongoing medical attention or limit activities of daily living or both.”
When you consider the definition, a lot of us know people struggling with chronic illness, or have had one ourselves. And as the pandemic continues to rage on, and conversations around health and access become even more prevalent, it's high time to unpack some of the widespread misconceptions about chronic illness.
To this very point, a couple who dub themselves Chronic Illness Advocates started an Instagram account dedicated to sharing educational, encouraging, and much-needed messages about the experience of chronic illness. Here are some of the conversations they've been having with their following.