Does Anyone Have To Deal With Accusations of Malingering? | ProHealth Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS and Lyme Disease Forums

Does Anyone Have To Deal With Accusations of Malingering?

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I have been sick for nearly 20 years, and one of the worst aspects for me has been family members, co-workers and neighbors accusing me of faking. My husband has even divorced me and accused me of faking in the divorce papers. I think I have proven, at least to the satisfaction of the court, that my condition is real, but I have come to realize that the constant skepticism and nasty remarks has taken a terrible toll on me psychologically. Don't laugh, but I actually think I may have post-traumatic stress disorder, due at least partly to the cruelty of others concerning my illness. Does anyone have any thoughts?



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Dear Hippo, I have not had to deal with that ....yet. I've only been sick for 2 years. So far Everyone has been very supportive ,at least to my face. LOL. I wonder ,thouth, if 20 years from now if everyone will still be so understanding?
Hippo, I am truely sorry for all your pain.Emotional pain is harder to deal with than physical I think. If it's available to you, would you consider counseling? You probably do have post-traumatic stress disorder. Counseling can be very helpful. Love Lori.


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I know exactly what you are talking about. I think a part of me has been psychologically damaged because of false accusations and entirely too much judgement about this illness. I've never felt so much rejection in my entire life as I have since I've been ill. The last year or so .......I've been working on releasing this hurt. I think I am dealing much better. I can't change what other people are thinking........and I'm tired of trying to justify I just give myself love and try to remember what Jesus said on the cross. "Forgive them Lord for they know not what they do"



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I actually AM in therapy, and am grateful for that support. But now my daughter has CFS/FM, and now I have to watch her go through the same kinds of nonsense. Teachers accusing her of not wanting to attend school and so forth. The vice principal of her school even said that she is malingering because she doesn't have a fever!!! The stupidity of it all is too much to bear at times.



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yes, I have and it hurts so much when we are so ill and and in such horrible pain. I understand how you feel. Its the worse part of this illness as far as I`m concerned.

The worse person that said something bad to me was a massage therapist I used to go to. She said she thought all people with chronic fatigue were just lazy. I could have slapped her and I probably should have. She wasn`t a very nice or compassionate person and I think she was in the wrong profession with her attitude.

Someday we will get vendicated and I can`t wait because I`m tired of dealing with these stupid people. They wouldn`t last a minute with this illness.

I think going through all this is very traumatic and I think you could be very right about your theory Hippo.

Take care,


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I surely understand what you are going through, and I am so sorry! I was in the convent when my symptoms first began to appear. No one knew what was wrong, but the doctor put me on 1/2 day work. That did not go over well. When a person lives and works with the same people (like 30), 24/7, and a good number of them think you are faking, it can be stressful. I was, in fact, diagnosed with traumatic stress disorder by the doctor who diagnosed my CFIDS/FMS. You very well could have it.
You know, when I think of how many symptoms we all have in common, and of how many of them there are, it seems unreal. I can identify with about 90% of the people on this board. I guess it can be hard for some to believe. Still, I agree with so many others. I have just distanced myself from those who don't accept my illness, and find that I am happier and more at peace that way.
Other people have reasons for their limitations. Pity them, for they will have to grow in compassion sometime. Meanwhile, God be with you. You have us, remember. Hugs, Terry


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it just goes with the illness. If I had a dollar for every time I said "if i were in a wheelchair? we wouldn't be having this discussion". Unfortunately, we just don't look ill. We live in a world where what you think you see is what you get. People assume if you can not prove you illness, you must be faking. I am sorry this has happened to you, and I am sorry that it happens to pretty much everyone with FM or CFS or many other auto-immune disorders. I know that many Gulf War veterans with Gulf War Syndrome, which looks very much like FM or CFS have been denied treatment and benefits as disabled veterans, and been told it is "all in thier heads". Hopefully we all will be treated better in the future when medical science catches up with our illness and starts looking for it's causes, and how to prevent an treat it. Again, hold your head high, I beleive you.


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and my husband just informed me today that if I don't keep up with scrubbing the tub and the sink it will get stained.

I threw a butter knife at him. Yikes, I scared even me.
Thank God he laughed. I can't believe I did that. But I really have to stick up for myself.

just not throwing butter knifes.

He spilled a bad of raisons he had in the truck and blamed me because I didn't close the cover right. I flipped out again. The langange was not good. I'm suppose to be a Christian. I was bad today, but he just thinks I'm funny.

thank God.

He does say things half heartily as to apply that I do not carry my share of the responsibilities.

And every now and then he will say to me to get a life. HMM
well, as a Christian I just reply that I have a life in Christ and there is no better life then that.

Also I have life eternal. He's Christian too so he can handle it.

Anyway he likes me to be depended on him so he can feel secure. Its so scarry to feel depended on a man.
Or any one for that matter, you never know when the rug can get pulled out from under you...


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accused me of not trying when he wanted me to squeeze his fingers.

I honestly did the best I could. I was just too weak to do any more.

I knew he didn't believe me, my husband tried to tell him that I was very weak but the idiot doc didn't believe him either.

I called the social security office, explained what happened and accused the doctor of fraud for refusing to do my exam. I got an appt. with another doctor who helped approve my SS claim.



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for that reason. Only the people who are very close to me know what is the matter with me, and yes I get accused of being lazy. The worse offender is my husband. He works a lot, over 70 hours a week, but that's his choice. Anyway, sometimes he can be very supportive and helpful, other times he says mean comments about me not doing anything and I just want to sleep during the day so I can stay up all night.

Also, I had requested copies of all my medical records. I read in there that one of the doctors did diagnose me as having PTSD, which I had no idea before I read the medical records. No doctor had ever discussed it with me before.

I hope the therapy can help you deal with things easier. I was seeing a therapist for awhile but stopped because I didn't think she and I were very compatible. I need to start looking for someone new to go to.

Good luck.



New Member
doesn't know what I go through, my husband who would get exhausted once
in awhile and say something uncalled for now has his own chronic pain problems with a degenerative back condition (sure changed his entire
attitude about my pain!) and my daughter who also has FM. My mother in law will be all sympathetic to my
face but then ask my husband later if
I'm "ANY better" and tells him she just can't understand it since my sister in law has it and isn't as severe as I am. Yesterday I got my
flu and the pneumonia shot since I also have Asthma. The nurse giving the shot asked about chronic illness
so I told her. She asked me what made
me think I had it originially. So I
started to tell her and she said "Well, I think if you just do a lot of exercising and find something to
take your mind off of yourself you'll
find you feel better"..she didn't know me from Adam..or Eve,LOL..and
SHE asked! I very politely told her that if exercise would fix it I'd take up marathon exercising but it is
only a "help" not a "cure". She gave
me that "knowing smile" people who don't believe in FM give you. Oh well, I KNOW the truth and that's all
I need to deal with. I'm so sorry you
are going through this with your husband even though he's only 'kidding' about it. It's NOT funny.
Maybe HE needs therapy for his attitude as a partner of a chonically
ill person. Hugs, Bambi


New Member
I have had to deal with a lot of people who don't believe there is something wrong with me. I was all caught up in trying to convince them that I was sick, and then I just gave up. I don't speak about my illness at home unless asked, as I have been told by my husband that I complain too much.
My older kids are very understanding, but the younger ones are just mad that I can't run them around like I used to. They expect me to do the things I used to, but I can't anymore. The prospect of driving them to the mall is just too much for me to think about at times.
When it got to be too much at work, when they were throwing more and more work at me, and not promoting me (due to my attendance they said), I filed a complaint with the Fla. Commission on human relations. I had a mediation with my employer, and during that, they told me that they believed I was NOT disabled, that I did not meet the definition!!
Wish I could go back there and tell them that, yes, I have a diagnosis, and I sure am disabled.
No one would choose to be sick with this, I know everyone here would much rather be well, but some people don't understand at all, no matter how much you explain.
I so much want to go back to my job and tell them how sick I am. I worked for local gov't., at the clerk of court, and I always believed that he was a kind, understanding man. It broke my heart to have him tell me that I wasn't sick, I mean he is known all around for his kindheartedness, and his work with charities. It still hurts so bad that the tears are rolling down my cheeks just writing about it.
At the moment, I have a chest cold, and feel awful, coughing like a mad woman, and it is making my FMS flare up in my back and chest muscles. Friday night I had chest pains so bad, my husband kept asking if I needed to go to the ER, and I finally said yes, and then he proceeded to yell at me how we couldn't afford the bill!! I was terrified to go to sleep, thinking that I wouldn't wake up. It's hard to know if you are having chest pains or FMS pains. I guess with experience living with this I will know.
As for all the critics, I am working hard on having the attitude that says F them, as I think that is the only way to deal with this and keep your sanity.


New Member
I remember when you first posted about being told you were milingering, and I didn't know what it meant. When I looked it up, I was really torqued ( using good language here, lol). I can't imagine how it made you feel, since it made me so angry.
I am in process now of getting a "check up from the neck up" and the therapist had me write down every incidence in my entire life that I was sick, and what was going on in my life at that time. I really noticed that I was sick more when things where in chaos, but the fibro and OA didn't really hit me until I was healthy, happy, and "normal".
I find that having to explain the reasons why I can't do what other people can, is stressing and degrading. I've had to do that a lot this term in school, as I've missed 17 classes already since september, and this does have to be explained. I get knots in my stomach when I think about it trying to explain it, even if it's to someone who really wants to know, like my acheivement coach etc.
I think stressful moments large or small is like putting money in the all adds up, except after it's collected it makes you sicker.

I think most of us have become more sensitive and defensive about our illnesses, and then we get hurt or angry more easily. I don't know where the balance is with this. I haven't found mine yet, I go from not giving a hoot to tears, depending on the situation.

I hope things start to get better for you, now that the court issues are settled, and that the battle fatigue wears of soon. No person can go through what you have gone through without some residual remains emotionally, and it will take some time to heal. Just remember, the only opinion that matters, is Gods and your own, all the others can be embrased or discarded at random.
Hugs to you.


New Member
I absolutely agree that stress plays a part in our illnesses. But look at the millions of people who are under a great deal of stress and still manage to function fairly well, some people even seem to do better under pressure.



New Member
Dear Hippo,
Yes I have had that problem, FROM MY OWN BROTHER! Telling me "you're always sick" and "I don't know how you keep your job". It really hurt and so I finally said "if you would just take some time and read up on fibromyalgia you would never say that to me again". I don't know if he read up on it but he hasn't said it anymore. And he's right, for as long as I can remember I have been prone to sore throats (strep), colds (and when I get one I GET ONE), flu, you name it. I've never had any sick leave and I've been counseled on it for years and years. I don't remember a time where I called in sick just to take a day off. All of my leave goes to Dr. appts and when I'm having major flares and I'm flat on my back. I just wish I knew about FM back when I was a child. I remember my mom taking me to the Dr. because of severe leg pain and for "hot burning" feet at night.

People just don't understand, maybe one day they will.

Prayers and hugs for you ((((((((((Hippo))))))))))


New Member
I can relate.I have had a lot of problems with my family as well.I remember one of my aunts didnt believe I had a real illness until one of her co-workers had FMS.Before that she would scoff at my complaints.I dont know why she would believe a co-worker over me.The rest of my family really dont understand me either except for my mother and I guess shes the one who counts most in my life so thats good.I recently had my grandmother tell me point blank that she didnt think I had fibromyalgia.And this from a woman who used to be a caregiver and subscribes to a magazine for alternative medicine.You would think she would be more open minded.*shrugs*Ive come to realize there is a double standard in my family.When Im suffering no one gives a rats butt and when someone else is going through a hard time its time to call reinforcements.Ive been there for them but that doesnt seem to matter.Plus,they never give me credit for anything and Im sick of their veiled comments.Ive decided now I dont want nothing from them.I have my mother and my best friend who truly care about me and thats enough for me.


In my case, my mother and sister seem to have the hardest time even trying to comprehend a little of the frustration of having a chronic pain/fatigue problem.

I was thinking about Christmas presents the other day and am tempted to give everyone a copy of Don Miguel Ruiz's book 'The Four Agreements'.

One of the four agreements is 'Don't Make Assumptions'. If we all were able to get rid of the tendency to make assumptions about everything (and I think judging goes hand-in-hand with assuming), the world would be a better place. I try to keep that advise in mind when I start assuming something about someone or thing that I know little about. If I start to think negatively about someone, I try to get more information and try to look at whatever it is from their perspective.

I believe, sometimes though, we just have to figure some people who haven't been there and done that, won't understand. So don't let them get to you!!!!!!!!!!


New Member
We can take alot of pain ourselves, but when someone directs it at our kids, WATCH OUT!
Hippo, that must be so difficult with your daughter. It's bad enough to have her be sick, and know what is in store for her, let alone have her princiPAL call her names.
I know that would use up most of my energy.
On a positive note, you do know , more than anyone else, what she's going through, and how lucky she is to have you in her corner. As we use to say in the 70's Hang in there! Lori