Why are we not surprised to hear that people with chronic illness taking part in a recent survey, reported that the main source of oppressive attitudes they faced were when dealing with Department for Work and Pensions staff.
The Energy Impairment and Disability Inclusion report (which is available to download here as a PDF) found that people with chronic illness face hostility and isolation because of society’s (and the DWP’s apparently!) failure to understand how their impairment affects their lives.
The research concluded that the most “fundamental oppression” experienced by people with conditions such as ME, multiple sclerosis, and fibromyalgia was the “negative attitudes” they faced. The report says that many people with these conditions feel like undeserving frauds because they have “internalised” deeply negative social attitudes.
More than 80 per cent of the more than 2,000 people with chronic illness who took part in a survey for the research believed there was a denial and disbelief about the fatigue they experienced. And 85 per cent said they felt isolated by society’s failure to understand the impact of their condition.
One of those who took part in the research said: “I feel like every day I am battling to prove myself – that I am really this sick, that I am working hard, how exhausted I feel, how difficult things are for me, in order to avoid their judgements.”
To find out more about the survey, please click here to access the full Disability News Service article.
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