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Your post is once again spot on, Toni. I agree with all and have experienced all. I am probably aging out of "young person" status at 39 but have experienced chronic illness throughout my life. Having a security guard yell in an accusatory tone clear across a parking lot at me, when I exited my car that I parked in a disabled spot, "Are you disabled?" remains a memory of frustration, embarrassment, and disappointment.
One final point I would add to your list:
#8 Young people are burdened with added pressure to have physically fit and attractive bodies. Youth is often synonymous with beauty. Maintaining fitness through exercise is difficult for the average person and is especially difficult for people with chronic illness. Many of my friends are exceptionally athletic and in shape, and while I am thin, I feel "less than" when I compare my body to others. Facial swelling, dark eye circles, periodic hair loss, and the effects of fatigue also add to feelings of inadequate beauty.
I work to overcome these seemingly superficial concerns in light of my more serious chronic illness, but anything that erodes self confidence and worth is worthy of consideration.
Thank you Toni!
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