Stigma and lack of understanding about breathing problems

Stigma and lack of understanding about breathing problems.

At school in athletics I was forced, along with my classmates, to run a whole mile one day every summer, there was no understanding whatsoever as to why I was "miles" behind and couldn't breath even though there was pollen everywhere and I had been diagnosed with allergic asthma.

I found it deeply distressing but was young and shy, I didn't stand up for myself against the dictator who was our sports teacher.

Have you encountered lack of understanding or outright stigma?

12 Replies

I was lucky to be healthy when young, but agree my sports teacher was a dictator, - used to force us into outside swimming pool that had huge mushrooms of mould on the pipework that went into pool. I used to think it would kill me if i got water in my mouth. Nightmare days.


I was very shy and hated sports cos I was so little but my grandma who brought me up was a force to be reconed with and sorted out the school bully teachers. x

My best friend always pokes fun at me because I walk slow. I laugh along with her but it does upset me, I don`t think its funny!

Sue x

not funny at all how long u had ur best friend,none of mine would do that they walk same pace as me ,take care

It isn't funny at all. I find it sad how people can't imagine what it is like when you can't breath and either accuse you of being lazy, or like your friend, they laugh.

Unfortunately, a similar lack of understanding hits people with other invisible issues, a deaf friend says people are sometimes angry because she didn't react or assume she's an idiot.


hi im also deaf in my left ear due to meningitis in my teens,the aid is in my rite ear,many a time have had my bak turned wen sum1 has screamed with a pram also usually with mates with them,can I pass ive been asking u ages,ive turned and said sorry ur on my deaf side and moved rite away/only to hear them giggling sayin daft cow to wich ive saw wat theve said and replied will come to all of us 1 day love sum sooner than others why don't u get a job/why should we .we get benefits for having kids ugh god .

The only time I was really aware of stigma was parking in a disable bay, to which I am totally entitled. A guy and his family walked by and the look of disgust on his face was completely surprising. The attitude towards people with disabilities is not great sometimes. Sometimes from other people with disabilities - that's the worst and most disappointing. I rise above it and smile :)

Sadly I encounter it all too often my daughter being autistic and in a wheelchair as she has cerebal palsy, most autistics do not have mobility problems as well so not a common combination. Sadly it happened only last week as her carers took her to wicksteed park, a family walked into the cafe pointed at her and walked out,, the irony is she sits very quietly and is very dainty when she eats and drinks very ladylike. There kids would have made more mess and noise, You cannot always understand that type of ignorance can you ? xxxxxx Julie

Sorry I also meant to say I can also relate to the blue badge scenario too, I have one as cannot walk far with my breathing problems and because I am not in a wheelchair get a lot of awkward glares. I just take it with a pinch of salt now and am ready with the evidence if needed. My hubby who is in a wheelchair, due to surgery going wrong never gets any looks yet he can actually get around better than me. xxxxxx Julie

It's utter madness isn't it but that's peoples' perceptions of others sadly. If you don't look ill, you're not. Fortunately I do the skeleton look rather well LOL :)

Yes, people like visual evidence. It's a very superficial and dimwitted way of thinking, but sadly widespread.


true ,and when ppl see the disability more often than not stare like they have never seen it be fore lot of ignorance out there still and its 2013

You may also like...