It is not only utterly frustrating, but it is also completely invalidating and unhelpful to be told you are too young to have a particular disease when in fact, you are in serious pain. Pain does not discriminate.
Alike is a health community app that enables life-changing connections between people who share the same medical journey. Reading our community stories and experiences, we noticed a wide phenomenon, where patients are being told they are too young to have their condition.
"It is a real pain when your folks deny your diagnosis and tell you that you’re fine when obviously you’re not”
"I have so many illnesses and I’m tired of being told to try one diet or another. Or exercise or take Tylenol for my migraine.”
Here are some of the stories of our members who were told they seemed too young to have a particular disease and tips for handling these situations, all based on our great users.
Mental health issues may not be visible
"The first psychiatrist I ever spoke to at 16/17 told me I was too young to have depression despite having just been released from the hospital because of it”
"My dad said I was too young and I haven’t experienced the ‘real world’ yet so I couldn’t possibly have PTSD”
"When I tell my parents I have a problem, they always think I was seeking attention or just trying to guilt trip them”
"My mom constantly makes the excuse that I’m “too young” and just trying to fit in with my friends or I’m spending too much time on the internet” It’s frustrating”
Some aspects of having a mental illness can be physical, like how a person with anorexia would look or having scars gotten from acts of self-harm. But most of the time, there is nothing physically wrong to see. Mental illnesses affect how the brain works and may not be visible.
Do not internalize someone else’s lack of mental health diseases. Always remember that what’s happening to you is true and you need to accept it and not let anyone make you feel less of yourself.
- Always remember that others do not have to believe in mental illness for it to be accurate and real.
- Your experience cannot be unlived just because of someone else’s denial.
- Never lose faith in yourself and how you feel. Remember, your feelings are valid.
Not Getting Diagnosed On Time.
"At 29, having menopausal symptoms that were ignored until I couldn’t have children for some reason. I wish my Doctors would’ve listened to me. Maybe I could’ve saved some eggs so I could have children.”
"Broke my Back at age 9 but took forever to actually be diagnosed since there’s no way a healthy kid could have possibly done that.”
Never stop trying to be diagnosed. An accurate diagnosis helps to avoid wasting time on a wrong treatment course. This is important because getting a diagnosis is the foundation for any treatment you may receive, from surgery to medications.
Also, being a proactive patient can help you get an accurate diagnosis. Opt for a second opinion, and ask questions if you are not satisfied with the answers you are getting.
Not Feeling Worthy Of Suffering
"I’ve been told I’m too young for carpal tunnel even though my hand tingles and goes numb all the time and it constantly hurts. But I’m too young. So I just let myself suffer.”
Many people have the notion that there is a certain age range for pain and other related conditions. But pain knows no age. Having an age minimum on pain shows that people are operating under the presumption that pain is only associated with age and time-dependent. Pain is more complex than ever associated with “normal aging.”
You must not feel guilty about your pain, or victimized by it. Pain can make you feel like no one believes you or you've been misunderstood.
However, to overcome persistent pain, it is important to be educated and feel validated. You should be an ally to your body and pay attention to what is going on on your inside. Seek care from providers who empower you, hear you, and support you.
Do you feel like someone is questioning your conditions?
This post is to inspire you to reach out to others, so you do not have to suffer alone.
Knowing that there are a thousand of you going through the same illness who are also being told they are too young to have a disease, will make you feel you are not alone in this.
How to handle being told you're too young to be sick.
- Find someone who understands you.
- Keep communication open and honest. People only understand what you’re feeling or you are thinking if you tell them.
- Find a support group using the Alike app, for both gaining knowledge and getting support from people who are dealing with the exact same conditions and are being told the same about their age.
What is beautiful about the Alike app is that you are completely anonymous. There is no sharing of personal information or photographs.
Alike app helps you chat personally or participate in a group chat or post. It is so much relief to find yourself surrounded by people who understand your pain and where you are coming from. This app helps you gain medical insights as well as support and empathetic environment.