Poll Having you ever been accused of "faking it"

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ShyestofFlies, Mar 7, 2016.


Having you ever been accused of "faking it"?

  1. Yes, often

    12 vote(s)
  2. Yes, sometimes

    29 vote(s)
  3. Yes, maybe once

    14 vote(s)
  4. No

    13 vote(s)
  5. I don't know

    3 vote(s)
  1. ShyestofFlies

    ShyestofFlies Well-Known Member

    Family members, doctors, co-workers, friends, strangers on the internet. I know me/cfsers and fmers get accusd as a whole of faking it all the time, but... Have you ever personally been accused of faking it?
    WilliamDonati likes this.
  2. ShyestofFlies

    ShyestofFlies Well-Known Member

    I've been posting on a chronic pain and disability forum the past few weeks and asked an innocent question about starting a disability case. Another member accused me of faking, multiple times in the thread, for refering to disability as "building a legal case"... It really upset me because I expect better from the chronic illness/spoonie community than to accuse others of faking with no evidence. I have read a lot of resources and personal stories of people applying for disability and have never once seen anyone take issue with this terminology until now. In fact it seems pretty common to use the phrase, especially if you are a lawyer?

    I've never spoken to this user before so it's not like it is a personal grudge, though I honestly wish it was. I think it really got to me because no one has ever been so direct with the accusation before, and most of the time it comes from simply from completely misunderstanding chronic illness in kind of an innocent way that can be educated. But this accusation came from someone who is also chronically ill, with some of the same disorders in fact, and who is applying for disability "honestly and with their own merrit, only seeing doctors when absolutely necessary" (paraphrase, not exact quote).
  3. ScottTriGuy

    ScottTriGuy Active Member

    Some people have psychological issues and / or a personality disorder.

    You may have just encountered one of them.
    IrisRV likes this.
  4. Karena

    Karena Member

    I've never had anybody directly accuse me of "faking it." But most people in my life (and in the world) probably make false assumptions about me and ME/CFS patients in general. I think they assume I feel better than I do and that I could accomplish a lot more.

    Part of it may be my fault, because I avoid talking about my illness. I usually try to manage my life so people don't see me at my worst. Besides, I'm not the type of person who moans and groans about things anyway.

    I like to say, "I explain, not complain." When someone wants me to do something I can't do, I might explain that I have a bad headache or I'm too tired to sit through a long meeting. I'm not complaining or trying to get sympathy. I'm just trying to explain the reality of my life.
  5. bobby

    bobby Well-Known Member

    sounds like a troll! :troll: I wouldn't be surprised if trolls would join a chronic pain forum to prey on sick people.

    I wasn't sure which answer to choose, cause I don't think anyone has ever blatantly accused me of faking it, but I've gotten quite a lot of insinuations.

    Oh no, wait, one doctor did. She started shouting at me and calling me names. What a pleasant experience that was. So I chose 'yes, maybe once'.
    Karena and IrisRV like this.
  6. IrisRV

    IrisRV Well-Known Member

    Not directly, anyway. A number of people have implied it in many different ways, but most people know better than to flat-out accuse people of things like that. It is a insult, after all.
    Mary Hamilton and Karena like this.
  7. madie

    madie Well-Known Member

    I said 'yes, often' even though all of it has been indirect. Family and 'friends' have been deeply two-faced about this.
    Mary Hamilton and Karena like this.
  8. Hope

    Hope Active Member

    I said no but indirect questioning of my disability is evident.
    Orthrus likes this.
  9. Lissa

    Lissa Well-Known Member

    My primary care doctor, who diagnosed me, and who is someone I like and respect - actually told me he "cannot commit insurance fraud" as he was preparing to sign papers supporting my disability. I felt horrified.... Belittled... Confused.... What what???!!! How could he say that to me? He did believe in me, he did sign the papers, he did understand the reality of ME/CFS. So why did he have to say such a thing?! I left his office feeling terribly confused, and dismayed that it had even entered his mind.
  10. Lissa

    Lissa Well-Known Member

    I would also add that friends and family have sometimes struggled to grasp the realities of the disease. It is so unfathomable that their first reaction really is to wonder how it's possible to have so little energy.

    Not necessarily a reaction that you are faking it, but their instinct is that you must not be trying hard enough. Just do X... Or Y... Or Z.
    Concluding you aren't motivated enough... Or yoga would help.... Or just do what anyone healthy could do to rebuild strength. Why haven't you?!

    The brain easily jumps to "fake" when the regular rules don't apply anymore. Unfortunately in their (non ME/CFS) world the first and easiest answer to grasp is the possibility of fakery. Hopefully they can make it past that by asking questions and educating themselves instead of assuming the worst of the chronically ill.
    GHD, Nina, IrisRV and 1 other person like this.
  11. bobby

    bobby Well-Known Member

    so confusing!!
    Lissa likes this.
  12. Karena

    Karena Member

    Do you think doctors and the general public react differently to men and women with ME/CFS? Are men taken more seriously? Are they judged more harshly? Or does it just depend on the individual and his or her circumstances?
    GHD and Lissa like this.
  13. lisaadele

    lisaadele Active Member

    I said yes but feel a bit ambivalent about my choice!
    I have suspected at times that people think I'm exaggerating how sick I feel...which made me feel like they think I'm faking or exaggerating.
    San Diego likes this.
  14. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    That's difficult to answer. I'm like Lisaadele - I've felt like its in the background at times; like c'mon just get over this. ..but honestly I've been really lucky. My family has been really supportive.
    Lissa likes this.
  15. Mwasi

    Mwasi Member

    The one who said that I was faking is the insurance company.
    As that time, that's the way they decided to cut payment of invalidity and for now, I had to call a lawyer and start a procedure.
    It's been 2 years since the procedure get started. Need a lot of patience.
    But I am still there :)
    CJB likes this.
  16. Lissa

    Lissa Well-Known Member

    @Mwasi - Hang in there and keep fighting! Ditto for me -- despite my doctor's diagnosis and support, the Long Term Disability insurance failed me completely. They called me a malingerer, accused me of faking, and maligned my character in every way they could think of. It was horrifying! I was soooooooo ANGRY! Anyone who knows me --- knows that their accusations were the absolute furthest you could get from the truth. NOBODY would willingly throw away a successful career and comfortable lifestyle so they could "pretend" to have THIS train wreck of a disease! GAHHHHHHH!!!

    I too hired a lawyer and had to fight for my rightful benefits. Which, ahem, were paltry because there was a secret clause written into the contract that excluded CFS specifically. It was lumped in along with "mental illness" -- gee, go figure, another slam. Turns out that this life-wrecking disease that leaves you darn near useless, only qualified for two years coverage on our so called "LTD plan". Yes, really. As if that's all the financial help you'd need for the decades to come.... It's an absolute outrage!
    CJB, IrisRV, Mwasi and 2 others like this.
  17. Joanna

    Joanna Member

    The medical doctor who came to my home to do a Department of Works and Pensions assessment for DLA (Disability Living Allowance) in the UK, marked 0 points on every section of the form, and wrote on every section, 'significant disability unlikely'. I had the assessment at home because my GP had written a letter to say I am too ill to travel to an assessment centre and sit in a chair for the interview.

    Because of his judgement, and the lack of detail in the doctor's letter they had received, as well as the fact that my consultant at the pain clinic 'doesn't do DWP letters at all' and because of the nature of my illness, I had a rough time.

    I had to appeal and face a tribunal hearing which took place many months later in a building which was not equipped for disabled people. There was nowhere to sit or hold onto in the long polished corridors, a buzzer above my line of sight so that I was left standing leaning on the building in the cold waiting for my friend to park the car several blocks away before I could even go inside, as I was too short to see the tiny labels that show which buzzer to ring. There was a lift without handrails of any kind, and no signs in the corridors--only a signs inside the room, which could be seen through a small window in the door, so we had to try more than one floor and then walk the wrong way first to determine which was the proper room by process of elimination. This, I assume is for security reasons. Too bad it is a place where disabled people have to go to prove they are disabled! There were only lightly padded armless straight chairs in the waiting room. and straight chairs in the hearing room which had wooden arms on them. As I had been house bound for over two years and unable to walk without leaning on my walls and furniture, too unsteady and unpredictable in my balance to feel safe not to trip over a walking stick, and not having got any help with other aids to that point, I had to make my way in this building by holding onto polished marble walls and tables, taking a few precarious steps between gaps.

    At the tribunal hearing, I was verbally abused and many things insinuated about my statements, especially by the doctor on the panel of three (which consisted of one legal person, one doctor, and one representative of the DWP.) For example: one of them asked, "If we had had a Big Brother camera outside your building during the last year, what would we have seen?" When I explained that most mornings I am in a state of pain and exhaustion near paralysis or actual paralysis and cannot get up to go to the toilet or get anything to eat for at least two hours, I was asked "So, are you able to get out of bed? Yes, or No?" Of course I repeated what I had just said. They reminded me that on the part of the form where it asked if I needed a hand rail or someone to get me out of bed, I said NO. When I had filled out that form with the help of a 'benefits advisor' who simply asked the questions and hurried me along, I'd thought about it and decided that a hand rail or someone to prompt me would be useless if I am physically unable to get up. That was my reason for the NO reply to that question. But they kept asking me "Yes or No?" I could not answer, as it depends on whether I am in this state or a better one. At one point, the doctor asked me in a voice full of sarcasm and anger, "What do you want from us, to go to your house and carry you about and put food into your mouth?" I honestly believed I might be in a nightmare and would wake up from this ordeal. I'd taken my only friend with me. She left the room in tears, and I felt even more alone. When she came back they actually asked her why she had left! After browbeating me for keeping them there more than an hour (All I had done was answer their questions) and telling me that it was my fault the next person scheduled after me had to be sent home as they were already at the end of their day, they let me go. I had been slumped in the chair most of the time, a position which, the doctor implied, was one of avoidance of looking at her during her questioning. It was the most horrific experience of my life. Two days afterward, I got a letter telling me I had been granted the low level rate of care and mobility benefit.

    This was not the only time I've been accused of faking illness, but it was the worst.
    Rowan, Ann 2, Tony L and 3 others like this.
  18. Mwasi

    Mwasi Member

    Hello to you. I am late with my answer, but thanks a lot for your words. It's my turn to tell you "hang on" my dear! I an loosing english so i miss words to say. Please, do your best to get your rights been respected, if possible. I will do the same in Canada, and as long as I am alive, I will stand in face of this rich company which has my money I paid for so long. Take care :)
    IrisRV and Lissa like this.
  19. Mary Hamilton

    Mary Hamilton Active Member

    Mine too!
    Reerob926 likes this.
  20. Mary Hamilton

    Mary Hamilton Active Member

    My sister's and one brother have been awful to me. My brother won't speak to me because 12 yrs ago when my mother was sick with MS and Diabetes, I couldn't take care of her or visit her in the nursing home enough. I was in so much pain and fatigue I just couldn't help her like I had since I was nine years old. I did help her a lot until I was forty but I also had a mentally ill son to raise too.
    willamsmith and bobby like this.