When Self-Doubt Makes You Question Your Own Illness


Laura Chamberlain



By Laura Chamberlain from her Blog, Laura’s Pen.


How self-doubt nearly stopped me finding an important diagnosis…

I have found myself having a very similar conversation with multiple people recently, about self-doubt about your own illness when you’re chronically ill. I’d never previously spoken about it, because, I guess, I don’t want to undermine anyone else’s belief in my illness.

But when I realised that we all think it from time to time, and saw it stressing, in particular in my circles, women with suspected and undiagnosed endometriosis, I felt the need to share my experience.

Self-doubt in chronic illness can be caused by many things. Negative results, dismissive doctors, a stigmatised illness, or just having a diagnosis that leaves you in a limbo land without treatment.

With my ME there have been many times when I have been curled on a ball on the sofa recovering from some minor bit of fun the day before, like having friends round for tea and cake, and thought to myself: “Maybe I’m not as ill as I think. Maybe I’m just imagining it. Maybe if I just push through, I’ll be fine.”

I’m afraid that thought process never ends well. I push myself to be normal and half an hour later I’m in bed wondering what the hell I was thinking. Pushing through and doubting what my own body was telling me is what made me so very ill in the first place.


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