My friend Deb really frustrates me with her illness issues. Deb and I graduated from high school together and have remained close friends throughout the years. About five years ago, doctors diagnosed her with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. Since then, her behavior has changed to somebody different, which actually frustrates me.

I however, sometimes feel that Deb’s behavior does not come from her illness; it has become a mental problem, which frustrates and worries me. My thesis in this essay is that Deb’s behavior is no longer a result of illness but mindset. Based on her condition, I will demonstrate how her mentality has changed her behavior.

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Deb is always reflecting on the illness. While in high school, Deb was a bubbly, outgoing and a fun person; since the diagnosis however, she has changed from that kind of a person to someone who complains constantly of some illness.

Even at times when she is not suffering from any pain, she complains of how she suffered the previous night or how she is likely to suffer the coming night. Her plans and thoughts revolve around the illness and this ends up frustrating all our plans. If we have made plans to do something, inevitably and regrettably a day or two before, she will call and cancel due to illness.

The illness of other people reminds Deb of her sickness even when she is not suffering from any pain. My little knowledge on fibromyalgia informs me that people with this condition experience pain periodically, not as frequent as Deb insinuates.

What frustrates me further is that when other people note to have a cold, sore back or anything, she will change the subject to her condition and something worse. Why should the situation of other people worsen her ill condition? I attribute this to her mindset. Looking at her physically, even when she is not suffering, she seems disturbed.

She is always concerned about pills and her doctor. Whenever we are moving out, she has to carry her pills. This has set her mind such that she carries the pills even when she is not going far from the house. She always needs a pain pill for this or need to go to the doctor for that, and honestly this behavior worries and frustrates me.

While sometimes I can justify her need for the pills, her carrying the pills most of the times is habitual. I am afraid that she is becoming addicted to being sick and the pills. In fact, she is ever discussing her encounters with the doctor, which frustrates me.

I love her and just want her to get back to the person I initially knew. I am ever in contemplation on how to help her. Sometimes I think of consulting a psychiatrist for her situation but since she is so engrossed with the fibromyalgia doctor, I find it difficult to convince her. In fact, it might cause more damage to her condition. I am therefore frustrated and I do not know how to help her. Her addiction to being sick, pills, discussing about her doctor and her illness really disturbs me.

We no longer share the moments we used to; no outing or fun any more. Her illness has considerably affected her and her behavior is no longer a result of the illness but the mindset. In life, things are formed twice; in the mind and in reality (physically). Therefore, it appears Deb has formed a sickness in her mind and that’s what manifests in the physical.


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