I have noticed on various sites, blogs, forums etc. that there seems to be a baffling new competition going on. No one seems happy to just accept their diagnosis (or diagnoses), rather they seem determined to 1-up everyone they come across! I name this ‘Mine’s worse than yours syndrome’ (MWTYS for short). So basically I have a bunch of conditions which suck, you can’t deny that, but there are people worse than me and I accept that. Others I have come across seem unable, or perhaps unwilling to see that other people may actually have this thing worse than you.
Autism. There is a phrase ‘when you meet one person with autism, you have met one person with autism’. This is because the spectrum is so vast and also cannot be simply divided into categories such as ‘high functioning/low functioning’, or ‘mild/severe’ In other words, even us on the spectrum are all individuals. Sure we share a label, but the label doesn’t define us as we may all have completely different aspects of the spectrum. This is why I don’t define my autism as ‘high functioning’ or ‘severe’ because to me it is just autism with the good and the bad that often go with it.
Tourettes. Haven’t seen too much 1-upping with Tourettes. Although I think the Tourettes itself would disagree! Rather than consciously making an effort to 1-up fellow ticcers, our Tourettes takes it into it’s own… brain stem[?] and does the 1-up for us. Simples and we all get along great.
OCD. This one isn’t a problem within the actual diagnosed OCD population per-say, more a problem with the undiagnosed people who really don’t have OCD, nor have they ever had OCD, who seem to want to turn it into a challenge. I’m more OCD than you… No, I’m more OCD… Trust me, neither of you have OCD (unless you do… this isn’t directed at anyone!)
ADHD. No problems because we are all too busy getting distracted by squirrels. I have a big fat one that visits my garden every day.
HMS/EDS-3. Out of ALL of my diagnoses, I think this is the one I see the most 1-upping in. Thankfully, the group I am a member of seems to dislike 1-uppers and so there aren’t too many, but I have come across some serious 1-upping in HMS/EDS groups! For example, someone posts:
I dislocated my knee yesterday
and the response?
I dislocated all of my bones yesterday and my heart palpitated and my face went a weird colour and my skin is like a tiny bit stretchy so I must have the deadly kind of EDS even though I blatently don’t…
Well you get the idea…
All I am trying to say is, stop trying to be the ‘worst’ all the time! It’s negativity (dude) and needs to go! Having a chronic illness isn’t easy, but stop living your entire life trying to 1-up a woman in a wheelchair because you have nothing better to do! I’m sure she’d swap with you if she could! I’ve learnt to stop comparing myself to others. There’s a wise phrase about this, but my hamster just got up and I’m sick of typing…
P.S My ADHD is waaaaaay worse than yours 😛