1. You use it as an excuse. Don’t feel like physically exerting yourself for fear of an asthma attack? Didn’t get enough sleep because you were wheezing all night? It’s not that you “can’t run a mile” because your asthma is so bad, it’s just that you don’t feel like running a mile and get to use your clearly fabricated “asthma” as an excuse to get out of it.
2. You are constantly sharing shit about it on social media. Sharing powerful stories of athletes overcoming asthma or articles about struggling with asthma is clearly just a tactic to define your identity as an asthmatic person. You’re just using your asthma as a way to seem like you’re brave.
3. You list it in your bios. If you list asthma as one of your defining characteristics, you’re obviously just making it up so that other people will look at you differently, perhaps so people will look at you like a hero for living your life despite having asthma.
4. Your definitions of asthma change all the time. One minute you’re “having an asthma attack” and gasping for air melodramatically, the next you have no trouble breathing. Make up your mind! You don’t just get to have a flare-up one moment, then act like you’re fine the next. You just want to have the appearance of having a seriously impairing illness.
5. When it’s convenient, your asthma takes a back seat. Oh, so when you’re out doing something fun, you don’t have asthma, but as soon as someone wants you to do physical activity suddenly you “can’t do it” or “need your inhaler.” Classic copout.
6. You think it’s “controversial” to talk about. It’s not controversial to have asthma any more. Nowadays, no one spews ableist bullshit about the existence of asthma; this isn’t the 18th century. We all know that asthma exists, so telling people who need to know about your medical concern just isn’t necessary. Neither is supporting others who have asthma.
7. Even though your relationships have clear patterns, you don’t accept that they might be your fault. Now I know what you’re thinking, what could asthma, or any illness for that matter, have to do with your relationships? Apparently, quite a bit. For example, every time your significant other tells you to do something outside the realm of what’s possible with your “illness,” you make it about you, and place the blame on your lungs. Typical.
8. You constantly post baiting things so that people will ask what’s wrong. Seriously, who cares that you’re stuck in the hospital all night for a breathing treatment, or that it feels like you’re literally drowning in air? Using social media to bitch about what it’s like living with asthma is more a ploy to get people to ask if you’re OK than it is an expression of a legitimate problem.
9. You’re not really trying to get better. Sure, you use your inhaler when you have an asthma attack or before you exercise, but are you really trying to change your behavior? You’re not interested in the work that having asthma entails, and for that reason you probably just made it up for attention. Because who would think you’re edgy or brave if they thought you were healthy?
The above points have been adapted from the article “9 Signs Your Mental Illness Is Made Up For Attention” by Alexis Caputo published on Thought Catalog on July 17, 2014.