The paradox of chronic illness

It is important to understand that paradoxical reactions exist when one expresses a reaction to a TCC. The paradox of chronic illness suggests that as ‘people with chronic conditions are impelled at once to defy limitations in order to realise greater life possibilities and to accept limitations in order to avoid enervating struggles with immutable constraints’ (Barnard, 1995, p. 39). This illustrates two important points (a) a single expression, hope or goal does not represent fully how an individual sees the impact of the illness or their response to it. It possible that they may accept certain elements and need to defy other aspects and that this will likely be modified over time. Thus, descriptions of adaptation are relative and shouldn’t be generalised. This is important as it supports the need not to judge what is said rather understand and consider the story being told. (b) that individual are motivated to defy the odds by navigating and exploring by themselves, by testing boundaries and understanding illness limitations and through comparisons with others. Imposed limits identified within interaction could be secondary to personal experience or the understanding gained by observing and interacting with peers. The paradox of chronic illness identifies the variability of hope and the contrasting nature of responses to situations.

© Andy Soundy Site Version 1.7 updated 22/01/2020