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When Your Family Doesn’t Understand Your IBS

There is nothing worse than not having support from your family when enduring illness. When you are down and out, a lending hand from those closest to you is crucial. Having love, compassion, and support from family are so needed when enduring IBS.

But what happens when your family just doesn’t get it?  What happens when your family isn’t there for you?  Or worse, what happens when your family shames you?

Being in this situation is so hurtful. There is nothing more heartbreaking than feeling a sense of betrayal and dismissal from those you love the most.

Words matter when it comes to IBS

Words carry incredible weight. And being told negative things from your family can create lasting internal pain. Have you ever been told the following?

“You can’t be that sick”
“Just start eating better and you’ll be fine”
“You have to cancel again?”
“I think you are exaggerating”
“Well if you would just take better care of yourself, things would be better”
“Just see a doctor and get on medication”
“Be more positive and do some yoga”
“You are too young to be so sick”
“You look fine to me”
“Stop being so dramatic”
“Our cousin had IBS and she’s fine now”

Well, I am here to encourage you today. Because I have gone through this in my own personal journey with IBS. And here is what I have learned:

We have to forgive family

Yup, this is always so hard but so necessary. Holding hurt and anger inside only hurts us more.  We have to forgive our family but honestly, their behavior simply comes from a place of ignorance. They just don’t understand the pain and struggle we go through and say things without thinking. If they truly knew about our condition, they would never react the way they do. So be the bigger person and give them some grace. Forgive and honestly, you will feel so much better in the end for doing so.

Educate your family

When family doesn’t support, I mostly find that it is because they don’t understand the condition of IBS. It is a wise gesture to send a link of information about IBS to a family member so that they can read about it on their own. You can use our site as a point of reference. Sending information from a third party for them to dissect on their own is a great way to educate.

Don’t let your heart harden

Even though the hurt from experiencing judgment from family can be so intense, don’t let it harden your heart. Try to change your perspective and understand that their judgment says more about them than it does you. Stay compassionate and loving. When you can, be there for them when they need you. Lead by example and show them what support should look like. Life is hard for us all, and perpetuating negativity is never a good idea.

Have you ever felt betrayed or judged by your family when it comes to your IBS?  How did you manage the lack of support? Share below, we love to hear from you.

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