Skip to Navigation

When we suffer illness it is usually transitory, we get better and move on. I say ‘get better’ rather than ‘recover’ because although it is unpleasant, experience of illness can strengthen us, make us better in some way.

Illness teaches us several things (we’ll get over it, unpleasantness passes, it’s necessary to take care of ourselves from time to time…). Serious illness can make us more compassionate towards the suffering of others and, if an illness is related to a personal crisis it can provoke life-changing decisions.

If you are suffering from something as you read this you might be tempted to write me off as some sort of happy-clappy optimist; dismiss me with “It’s alright for you…”, or something less polite. That’s a natural response, and though you may not think it, one I sympathise with. You might even think that you know where this post is going, which is more than I do as I write it. Read on anyway, you never know, and we might both learn something.

An ‘illness’ can be psychological rather than physical – though I think we are too quick to label complaints of the mind and spirit as illness – and any physical illness has psychological consequences. How we think and feel about an illness can have a big effect on its course. Attitude has been shown to be an important factor not just in resilience and recovery from sickness, but in longevity and happiness in old age as well.

Getting illness in perspective helps to minimise its impact. Understanding that illness is inevitable, usually tansitory and that it can provide insight and opportunity can help avoid dramatising and treating it as a calamity. This last point applies to serious or incurable illness as well.

Illness and disease are unavoidable elements in the human condition. When we suffer – however serious it is – our ailment is only a part of what we are. If we allow it to become who we are by weaving it into our identity, it is much harder to deal with.

What do you think? Share your thoughts...

Latest from the blog

Personal Calvary, and Chocolate

There are two types of people in the world, I’ve been told; those that can eat a bar of chocolate one piece at a time, and those who don’t even bother trying. The latter group have no brakes, and ‘sharing’ isn’t in their vocabulary (should that be vocadbury?*). There are two types when it comes […]

Continue reading

How to Adjust to Change


Resisting change is not only a waste of time, it also makes it harder to deal with. Following advice from other people is probably not the right way to go either (you can still read this though).

Change can be difficult, but it needn’t be as big a problem as we often make it.

Continue reading

Brief Therapy for Depression

Most depressions can be cured or substantially alleviated yet we still pretend that they can’t. Hand-wringing and attempts at sympathy don’t help, enlightenment and common understanding will. Treatment guidelines are explicit, brief problem-solving talk-therapy is a proven treatment.
We should be accepting and treating depression as the common ailment it is, not shrouding it in mystery and pretending that we don’t know what to do about it.

Continue reading
FREE DOWNLOAD - Get it now.

How to be more Resilient

Get my super-helpful guide '9 Steps to Resilience' absolutely FREE, when you subscribe to my newsletter.

Understand the steps to resilience and you can develop the ability to cope with problems and setbacks with less stress and more confidence.
%d bloggers like this: