The Ministry of Lisa Copen

Lisa Copen, Founder of Rest Ministries which serves the chronically ill, shares about mothering, illness, ministry and more.

Who Hates to Hear They Look Great? Over Half of the Chronically Ill!



Lisa Copen, Director

National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week

888.751.7378 – 



Hates to Hear They Look Great? Over Half of the Chronically Ill!

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SAN DIEGO – JULY 2007 — In a recent survey of 611 chronically ill individuals, done by the National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week committee, 53.27% of the respondents said that the most frustrating or annoying comment people make about their illness is “But you look so good!”

telling someone they look good is often seen as a compliment,” says Lisa Copen,
founder of National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week “it feels like
an invalidation of the physical pain or seriousness of one’s illness and the
suffering they cope with daily.”

to Copen, author of “Beyond Casseroles:
505 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend,”
statistics show that
nearly 1 in 2 people in the USA have a chronic condition and 96% of it is invisible.

Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week held September 10-16 for 2007, is an
outreach to increase awareness that living with an invisible illness can be
emotional challenge—as well as physical—and that more people than we would imagine
are suffering silently.

Respondents answered the survey at and reported the following other annoying comments people tend to make:

* “Your illness is caused by stress.” (14.22%)

* “If you stopped thinking about it and went back to work…” (12.42%)

* “You can’t be in that much pain. Maybe you just want attention.” (10.95%)

“Just pray harder.” (9.15%)

Leal, creator of SomeOne Cares
Christian Caregiver Conference
and author of The
Twenty-Third Psalm for Caregivers

says, “When someone appears physically normal people are less likely to show
understanding and compassion. National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week
is an important opportunity to help families, businesses, churches, and communities
understand that conditions without an outward sign are just as debilitating
as other more visible illnesses and disabilities.”

38, who has live with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia for fifteen years
agrees. “We know that 75% of marriages impacted by illness end in divorce and
70% of suicides have uncontrollable physical pain as a factor.* There are hundreds
of invisible illness such as diabetes, cancer, myasthenia gravis, fibromyalgia,
chronic fatigue syndrome, and Crohn’s disease as well as mental illness and
conditions such as bulimia or migraines. Regardless of one’s illness or level
of pain, feeling isolated and misunderstood can be emotionally devastating.
We are each responsible for learning how to effectively show compassion and
understanding to those we can about, including the chronically ill.”

Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week’s web site has articles, resources
and will feature twenty online seminars during Sept 10-14, 2007. Guests include
Maureen Pratt, author of “Peace
in the Storm: Meditations on Chronic Pain and Illness”
and Jenni Prokopy,
founder of Outreach
materials include t-shirts, silicone awareness bracelets and rack cards, appropriate
for support groups or the work place state what to say and not say to a chronically
ill person.

The theme for 2007’s invisible illness week campaign is “Living with invisible illness is a roller coaster. Help a friend hold on!”

For more information see or call 888-651-7378. National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week is sponsored by Rest Ministries,,
a Christian organization that serves the chronically ill and HopeKeepers Magazine.


Sources: National Health Interview
Survey /
Mackenzie TB, Popkin MK: "Suicide in the medical patient.". Intl J
Psych in Med 17:3-22, 1987

# #


1 in 2 people in the USA has a chronic condition and 96% of it is invisible.
A new survey reveals that over half of the chronically ill get annoyed when
someone says, "You look so good!” because it invalidates their illness
and suffering. National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week strives to
create awareness for invisible illness.


Chronic illness, invisible illness, cronic, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, caregiver, diabetes, cancer, myasthenia gravis, Crohn’s disease, mental illness, migraines, symptoms of illness, bipolar illness, health awareness, health observances, invisible illness week


  Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients wrote @

Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

sleep disturbance in rheumatoid arthritis patients other than polysomnography. Patient Educ

  Rosalind Joffe wrote @

Hi Lisa- Great to hear that Jenni Prokopy will be joining you. I’m looking forward to speaking to this audience! Rosalind

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