Illness Quotes

Most popular illness quotes

Old age is an illness in itself.

old age

Sickness is felt, but health not at all.

health proverbs

Sickness comes on horseback and departs on foot.
— Dutch proverb

European proverbs proverbs

Illness must be considered to be as natural as health.
Illness sets the mind free sometimes to roam and surmise.
Illness is the night-side of life, a more onerous citizenship.
How sickness enlarges the dimensions of a man's self to himself.
Another person's illness is often harder to bear than one's own.
What a strange distance there is between ill people and well ones.
Recovery from illness often seems like beginning life all over again.


Old age and sickness bring out the essential characteristics of a man.

old age

The seed of health is in illness, because illness contains information.
To array a man's will against his sickness is the supreme art of medicine.


I enjoy convalescence.  It is the part that makes the illness worth while.
We are not sensible of the most perfect health as we are of the least sickness.
Can there be worse sickness, than to know
That we are never well, nor can be so?
Serious illness doesn't bother me for long because I am too inhospitable a host.


Every sick man is a hero, if not to the world or even to the family, at last to himself.
Those who have never been ill are incapable of real sympathy for a great many misfortunes.
Every illness has its natural course, with which it behooves the doctor to become acquainted.
In the last states of a final illness, we need only the absence of pain and the presence of family.


I dislike helplessness in other people and in myself, and this is by far my greatest fear of illness.
Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.

exercise health

Neurosis has an absolute genius for malingering.  There is no illness which it cannot counterfeit perfectly.


Illness is the opposite of freedom. It makes everything impossible. You lose so many things when you're ill.
There are only two kinds of illness: those that are fatal and those that heal themselves in their proper time.
Illness is the doctor to whom we pay most heed; to kindness, to knowledge, we make promises only; pain we obey.
If you treat a sick child like an adult and a sick adult like a child, everything usually works out pretty well.

children parenting

In the midst of your illness you will promise a goat, but when you have recovered, a chicken will seem sufficient.
— African proverb

African proverbs proverbs

If illness is the embodiment of powerlessness, which, believe me, is true, then waiting is its temporal incarnation.
The doctor may also learn more about the illness from the way the patient tells the story than from the story itself.
Illness is the great equalizer. It doesn't matter who you are, rich or poor, young or old, fat or thin, sick is sick.
Think of life as a terminal illness, because, if you do, you will live it with joy and passion, as it ought to be lived.
We forget ourselves and our destinies in health, and the chief use of temporary sickness is to remind us of these concerns.
Telling a story of illness, one pulls a thread through a narrow opening flanked on one side by shame and the other by trivia.
To be sick and helpless is a humiliating experience.  Prolonged illness also carries the hazard of narcissistic self-absorption.
Stop people dying of the illnesses they die of now, and they will die of something else later on, and the slower and the costlier.
The worst illness today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but the sense of being unwanted, of not being loved, of being abandoned by all.
When illness enters a home, not only does it take hold of a body. It also weaves a dark web between hearts, a web where hope is trapped.
A long illness seems to be placed between life and death, in order to make death a comfort both to those who die and to those who remain.
A man's illness is his private territory and, no matter how much he loves you and how close you are, you stay an outsider.  You are healthy.
Illness is in part what the world has done to a victim, but in a larger part it is what the victim has done with his world, and with himself.
Illness is friendship's proving ground, the uncharted territory where one's actions may be the least sure-footed but also the most indelible.


In a sense sickness is a place, more instructive than a long trip to Europe, and it's always a place where there's no company, where nobody can follow.
The more serious the illness, the more important it is for you to fight back.  You've got to mobilize all your resources—spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical.
Illness may precipitate a spiritual crisis.  Since illness is man's reaction to disease, it is a time when men are brought face to face with the ultimate concerns of life.
One evil in old age is, that as your time is come, you think that every little illness is the beginning of the end.  When a man expects to be arrested, every knock at the door is an alarm.

old age

Considering how common illness is, how tremendous the spiritual change that it brings . . . it becomes strange indeed that illness has not taken its place with love and battle and jealousy among the prime themes in literature.
Severe illness isolates those in close contact with it, because it inevitably narrows the focus of concern. To a certain extent this can lead to healing, but not if the circle of concern is so tight that it cannot be broken into, or out of.
In spite of illness, in spite even of the arch-enemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways.

curiosity old age

The earliest sensation at the onset of illness, often preceding the recognition of identifiable symptoms, is apprehension.  Something has gone wrong, and a glimpse of mortality shifts somewhere deep in the mind.  It is the most ancient of our fears.


A critical illness is like a great permission, an authorization or absolving. It's all right for a threatened man to be romantic, even crazy, if he feels like it. All your life you think you have to hold back your craziness, but when you're sick you can let it go in all its garish colors.