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to think if you won't get treatment, that you have little right to complain about the impact of the illness

(49 Posts)
holyShmoley Tue 21-Jun-11 13:22:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

stickyj Tue 21-Jun-11 13:25:30

Some people are just too scared to seek treatment. Some people with mental health problems don't know they can get help, sometimes until their illness has overtaken their lives.

If you are speaking from personal experience, I apologise but otherwise I think you're being harsh. My Mum ignored a lump in her breast for two weeks, she was scared she would die and leave me. It was 25 years ago, and she did die. She didn't want to die, she didn't complain and I miss her.sad

FranSanDisco Tue 21-Jun-11 13:28:37

Rather harsh. Some people are scared to know the truth. I know several people who died quite quickly after diagnosis of a terminal illness. Really until you are in that position it it hard to know how you would react but it would be nice to know you'd get some support from someone and not just be told you brought this on yourself hmm.

ginnybag Tue 21-Jun-11 13:28:47

Whilst I agree generally, I think you've oversimplified.

Mental health issues, for example, very often, by their symptoms, act against someone getting and sticking to treatment.

And a lot of cancers, in the early stages, cause symptoms which are intermittent or not all that serious. A mother with two young children will almost certainly be pushed for time - a 'little niggle' will just get ignored until the unspecified 'later' when she has time from the kids and the house to make an appointment with her Dr.

And whether, in that last case, she 'knew' or not, she didn't 'ask' for cancer and I'm bloody sure she didn't ask to die from it, so, yes, sympathy is warranted. Anything else is just a bit heartless.

LRDTheFeministNutcase Tue 21-Jun-11 13:30:44

I think that's a remarkably insensitive and crass post.

Yes, people sometimes ignore symptoms when they shouldn't. But it's not laziness, it's a tragedy. They need to be better informed and made less scared. Think how much impact campaigns about checking boobs have had - it's huge! But there is still work to be done.

As to alcoholics: I don't think it's easy to say why people don't sort their lives out, but I doubt for many of them it's because they 'can't be arsed'. Yes, maybe you would be a stronger person. That's great. But you can't know that.

My gran died of brain cancer, she got the treatment because she felt she had to, even though it was inoperable and would only buy her time.. I think she felt, like you, that it would seem 'lazy' or morally wrong not to fight. The treatment put her body through hell and she died in agony about three months after diagnosis. So I do feel very strongly that your post is ill-informed and treatment is not always the ideal - certainly guilting people into treatment is not.

fairydoll Tue 21-Jun-11 13:31:36


TheMagnificentBathykolpian Tue 21-Jun-11 13:33:54

I think there are people who bury their heads in the sand. If they don't go to the doctor, if they don't have treatment, then it's not real and nothing can happen to them.

I've read about people who had great festering cancerous sores and refused to acknowledge it. As if by that refusal, it stopped it from existing and therefore they couldn't die. Maybe. I'm speculating.

It's not logical. But then, they pay the ultimate price for their fear, don't they? So I think compassion is not out of order.

LunaticFringe Tue 21-Jun-11 13:37:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

waitfortheblackout Tue 21-Jun-11 13:38:15

My DH's uncle died after he set fire to himself.

He had a brain tumour. Unfortunately, whilst this was discovered, it was only after he'd lost his job and alienated much of his family due to his behaviour. He didn't get treatment because he had no idea that there was anything wrong with him.

And then he died.

I shall pass on your sentiments...

KurriKurri Tue 21-Jun-11 13:40:01

You have no sympathy for people with young children who die from cancer? because they left it too late for treatment? - wow I'm speechless, I would have thought most people could summon up some compassion for someone dealing with a terrible disease.

The prospect of a cancer diagnoses induces great fear, rational behaviour often goes out of the window.

sausagesandmarmelade Tue 21-Jun-11 13:43:16

The last two funerals i've been to were of people who ignored the symptoms of cancer- one a mother who left it for eighteen months and had two young children. The general concensus was that they had thrown away their lives pointlessly.

Oh nice!

What an unfeeling sympathy or empathy...just blame directed towards the sufferer (who is no longer around to defend themselves).


LRDTheFeministNutcase Tue 21-Jun-11 13:44:50

OP, I'm reading back your post and mine and feeling a bit guilty ... you say you've recently been to two funerals - were these deaths of close friends/family you're perhaps still struggling to come to terms with? I think it's normal to feel angry in that sort of situation, but maybe AIBU isn't the right place to try to work on that anger?

WhoAteMySnickers Tue 21-Jun-11 13:45:34

The no sympathy bit is really harsh, but I kind of get what you're saying.

A colleague recently died from cancer, and the fact is that she ignored her symptoms for a good six months because she was delighted with the drastic weight loss - going from a size 18-20 to a size 12 in less than six months. We ALL kept on and on at her to go and see her GP but she just wouldn't.

She admitted she was a bloody idiot and tortured herself in her last few months once it was confirmed that the cancer was terminal with "if only". She left behind a young daughter. Frustrating that her death may have been preventable.

aliceliddell Tue 21-Jun-11 13:46:37

My mother was a bipolar alcoholic who died of breast cancer. She got treatment for the cancer too late because of the alcoholism. I'm assuming you've never lived with an alcoholic. They don't do preventative health care. They often don't do getting up. They do complain though, because they're alcoholics. There are many theories why people don't get treatment, many more why treatment is often ineffective.

sunshineandbooks Tue 21-Jun-11 13:47:04

Well OP, aren't you just brimming over with the milk of human kindness. hmm

Have a biscuit to take the taste of sour lemons out of your mouth.

TakeItOnTheChins Tue 21-Jun-11 13:50:33

Harsh but understandable. A friend of mine is, I think, borderline depressed and life in general is a struggle for her but she won't go to the doctor. She keeps saying she will, but she doesn't. I and other friends suspect that the reason she won't go is that if she does, she'll have to be honest about how much she drinks (too much) and she doesn't want to stop drinking. It's very frustrating.

TeddyMcardle Tue 21-Jun-11 13:53:10

Fuck off, you obviously know nothing about mental illness. Depression/ psychosis/ bipolar, these illnesses stop you from going to the doctor. You don't know your ill, you think it's just you and you don't deserve treatment/ you're a terrible person/ it's a punishment to you. Anyone spouting crap about people not be 'assed' to go to the doctor haven't got a clue.

duckdodgers Tue 21-Jun-11 13:53:16

The problem with some mental illnesses is that illness affects your insight - so the person may not recognise they are ill until they have been treated and can look back in retrospect at some of thier thoughts and behaviour then.

GwendolineMaryLacey Tue 21-Jun-11 13:55:52

What a horrible OP. I assume you have no idea what it's like to be ill but terrified of the diagnosis?

My dad is diabetic. He almost lost a foot because he was too scared to get it treated. When he left the hospital after the op he said he'd learnt his lesson, he'd never ignore things like that again. He's just as bad as ever and will not go and see about various things. He's terrified.

georgie22 Tue 21-Jun-11 13:55:56

The reasons people 'choose' to ignore what can often be very obvious symptoms are complex, but that does not mean they are any less worthy of our support and sympathy. So OP, YABU. Don't go getting a job in the caring professions any time soon with your caring, sharing outlook on life!!

Hammy02 Tue 21-Jun-11 13:59:46

What an incredibly simplistic attitude you have OP. I am staggered that this could have been written by an adult. If only life were black & white eh? Then everything would be cosy. Do you really think someone in the depths of depression, alcoholism, fear of dying always has the will to go and get help?

holyShmoley Tue 21-Jun-11 14:35:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

holyShmoley Tue 21-Jun-11 14:52:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LRDTheFeministNutcase Tue 21-Jun-11 14:56:29

holy, I'm sure I wouldn't 'ignore a lump' ... but I'd have to find it and recognize it as such, first. I can easily understand someone saying 'oh, but I didn't think this counted ... I didn't realize they were like that' or similar. Yes, people may be kidding themselves, but it's not as if you get letters spelling 'cancer' coming up on your body.

nethunsreject Tue 21-Jun-11 14:56:39


What a horrible op.

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