Sickness Addiction, Maybe the Worst Addiction of All

A few years ago, at the beginning of a summer, I started working with someone who had been diagnosed with als and was using a motorized wheelchair to get around for the most part. We put some serious energy into getting her healthier, and toward the end of the summer she told me she had good news for me. She had gotten up from that wheelchair and walked around for, get this, an hour straight. Oh how much better she felt.

That was pretty much the last I heard from her.

Huh? Wasn’t she pleased? You would think she would be excited to keep going and get even healthier.

While I was surprised at the time, I am no longer perplexed by things like this. I know the deal. Sickness addiction put her right back in that chair and is keeping her there.

What do I mean?

Check this out. It turns out that right about that time, a group of people in her community had come together to give her, yep give her, a house, renovated to accommodate a wheelchair. Wow. What if she no longer needed the wheelchair? How would that have all worked out?

She also has projects going on, some of which are closely related to her being sick. What if she were no longer sick? What would happen to her bucket list of things to do before she died? What would happen with all the other things that to some degree revolve around her being sick.

So she was stuck sick, and still is, as far as I am aware.

I have seen this type of thing countless times and it is a huge theme in healing and has been a huge surprise for me.

When I got into helping people heal, I figured some people would be skeptical and others, such as people with medical degrees, would feel threatened by it. I was not ready for how stuck people are being sick. That’s maybe the biggest obstacle to healing of all. Sickness is so deeply integrated into people’s lifestyles, into their images of themselves, into everything they have going on, that getting healthy is the last thing they are ready to do.

Being sick can catalyze improvement in people’s lives, such as improving relationships with family members or changing for the better what they find worth focusing on. People who are ill get involved in causes and do other things they never did when they were healthier. People who are sick even get called heroes, just because they stay positive in the face of it all. For these and other reasons, being sick can have a very powerful allure.

Yes they march for cures, and speak before congress, and donate to research, and volunteer for clinical trials, and travel far to get treatment not available locally. Yes, they and their families are truly devastated by the consequences of illness.

Still, when you get right down to it, what’s really keeping people sick, when in reality their are plenty of ways available for them to get healthy, is their own addiction to sickness and all that comes with it. Sure, using drugs can harm your body. Sure, smoking has its damaging effects. Sure, gambling can be horrible on your finances and blood pressure. Still, the addiction that does the most to make and keep people sick is addiction to sickness itself.



  1. Fernando said,

    2012/01/23 at 5:55 PM

    Dear Marty: “Being sick can catalyze improvement in people’s lives, such as improving relationships with family members or changing for the better what they find worth focusing on. People who are ill get involved in causes and do other things they never did when they were healthier. People who are sick even get called heroes, just because they stay positive if the face of it all. For these and other reasons, being sick can have a very powerful allure.” Yes, benign sickness is just like that. When it is temporary, we call it simply “crisis”. It is a sickeness needed to become healthier, just like a fever, the purpose of which is simply to preserve us, even though it may get out of hands. We only call it illness in that case. Once that happens, attributing it to one’s addiction can only add ofense to injury. In the past it might have been; but once the process acquires a life (of death) of its own, then we, as bystanders, ought to be very careful. Not that ofense is totally useless, it is useful, indeed, as the mirroring technique in Gestalt Psychology proves. Yet, it may be quite dangerous, since it remains effective in rescuing the victim of drawning only insofar as there are still resources to jump out and protest. When resources have vanished beyond recovery, respect and compassion may be the best last bridge to a dignified farewel. The case you described was incipient, and the intervention worked well, indeed, as expected. But instruments for drawing the line are needed in order to help choose among intervention alternatives so as to maximize benefits and prevent damage. I have adapted some of them. Best luck. Fernando

    • Marty Murray said,

      2012/01/23 at 6:06 PM

      Fernando, while I tend to agree with your tone, I tend to disagree fundamentally with things you are saying.

      For one thing, no problem has a life of its own. All problems are created by those experiencing them, along with those around them. So any problem can be solved at any time. There is no giving up, or vanishing of resources.

      Yes, we need to maximize benefits and prevent damage.

      At the same time, to really solve problems we need to see and acknowledge what is at the root of them.

  2. Fernando said,

    2012/01/23 at 6:13 PM

    Dear Marty:
    There is a protocol of intervention based on the person’s standing in the continuum of function loss. There are people who need a different approach. When we study models of helping and coping we find perspectives that help understand what I mean when I say that some people may resent this not because they are too addicted, but simply because they need a differet kind of approach. That is just my humble opinion. Thank you. Fernando

  3. russ hook said,

    2012/01/23 at 6:57 PM
    Here is just one of thousands of Mind CONtrol movies that tell us to accept sickness and rely on “doctors” to save us. This person has a cupboard full of pills yet she is not getting better! To me this film was in the genre of COMEDY!!! LOL
    Marty just described a classic case of MIND CONtrol. We are ALL affected by it, and it affects some worse than others, esp. those who are not aware of the MK in the first place. The TV watchers who live monkey see, monkey do. These are your classic zombies. God must have loved them for he made so many!!! lol These toxic waste particles the doctors call patients don’t have an iota of the harm they have done to Planet Earth, and all of it’s beautiful animals which they consume on a daily basis. Cancer and all of the other herd thinners are a necessary “evil” to rid the Planet of these imbeciles.
    We cannot get sick without our own permission. That is a universal law. We are slaves to addiction b/c we ALLOW it to manifest. READ THE RINGING CEDARS BOOKS only if you wish to find out the meaning of life, nuthin’ impotent! lol The books are on Pirate Bay, ahoy mateys! (=

    • Marty Murray said,

      2012/01/23 at 7:19 PM

      Russ, while I agree with some of what you say, especially the universal law, I tend to disagree with some, especially that sickness is a necessary evil. Perhaps another universal law is one that says we cannot really get healthy by getting sick, and another would be that the only way to health is healing everyone and everything.

      • russ hook said,

        2012/01/23 at 11:22 PM

        Yes Marty, talk is cheap! I live a do no harm lifestyle, and I am very eco-conscious. I don’t eat dead animals for over 30 years. I respect Mother Earth. I am part of the solution. I use STRONG LANGUAGE but that language is the TRUTH, that most addicts prefer to ignore. A lot of what Fernando said, I didn’t get. The TRUTH IS SIMPLE, not complicated. The solutions are also simple, but they are not easy. The addicts will have to make changes they DO NOT want to make. Most of them don’t care about the suffering they support, and create by their toxic life-styles. Their own fleeting pleasure is all they care about. We get what we give, it is that simple. So when they get cancer, etc. that is the vibration they exist at. It is easy to predict who will contract cancer. The ones who eat, sleep, and breathe lower cancerous energies. The EVIL/IGNORANT ones. IGNORANCE IS THE ONLY SIN.

  4. dave said,

    2012/03/07 at 6:51 PM

    good heavens, i am suspicious of and generally against medication and eat fully organic etc. i also believe illness is a sign showing you where in your live you need to look or didn’t look before. but honestly russ and marty you guys cant be for real with russ saying: “So when they get cancer, etc. that is the vibration they exist at. It is easy to predict who will contract cancer. The ones who eat, sleep, and breathe lower cancerous energies. The EVIL/IGNORANT ones. IGNORANCE IS THE ONLY SIN.- trust me there are hundreds of sins.

    marty, of course there are thousands who meet your definition of pill popping, taking advantage etc- i’ve just seen thousands on other spectrum. The psyche is complex and humanity is one organism-sometimes nameless, traceless people die/suffer due to the state of the world. Addiction to power, greed, self-satisfaction, can be greater addictions than illness. Marty your attitude gives alternative/holistic health a bad name. Please tell me you are a fresher/youngster under 35 or aren’t for real-just one of those who does this for money and knows you are lying. As opposed to genuinely believing your philosophies


    • russ hook said,

      2012/03/07 at 8:17 PM

      Hi Dave, you eat “fully organic” DEAD ANIMALS too??? Then you DESERVE cancer don’t you? In 500 words or less tell me WHY you don’t deserve the same fate/suffering that you perPETrate on animals. This should be very revealing if you choose to answer…..

    • Marty Murray said,

      2012/03/08 at 10:07 AM

      Dave, I am neither a newbie nor lying.

      While ignorance may or may not be the only sin, and while there may be some validity to what you are saying, it is not my job to pander to ignorance to give holistic methods some kind of good name with people who are off track and living by their misconceptions.

      Rather, what needs to be done is tell the truth, which is that there is not a person, man, woman or child, in this world who is not somehow complicit in the creation of the problems that person is experiencing.

      This may not be the most easily popular stance. It is the truth though, and while the truth may seem painful and low in popularity in the beginning, as time goes on it always wins out.

  5. dave said,

    2012/03/08 at 2:53 PM

    russ- i eat dead fish so i deserve cancer- i get it

    marty, i looked up your name after stumbling across your website.
    als peeps got a gripe with you-but that doesn’t necessarily tell me much.
    i guess something about what you are saying interests me that is why i keep commenting. i plan to read more of your chronicles to get a better understanding of exactly what u are bringing forth.
    is it linked to or based on ‘the secret’ or echkart tole?- or your own deductions from life observations and your eco and finance background like one artcle on web says?

    • Marty Murray said,

      2012/03/08 at 4:36 PM

      First, while deserve is one of those funny words that may not ever really fit reality, I find that Russ is onto something, something along the lines of a person’s actions in the world being a window into what lies within a person and what lies within determining what one experiences.

      As far as where this is coming from, it is based on my own observations which have been moved forward by a variety of things, particularly my study of economics and utility theory, the work of Barbara Brennan and the Pathwork lectures, along with ideas from a wide range of sources and topics including physics, Native American healing practices, Eastern philosophy and traditional medicine, The Secret, Wayne Dyer’s stuff and Freud, Jung and Chopra.

    • russ hook said,

      2012/03/08 at 9:49 PM

      Dave gets hooked just like the DEAD FISH, and other animals he eats!!! lol als peeps live als, they exist off the backs of tortured dead animals. They created the cancer by their actions.


      I can criticize y’all dummies and get away unscathed b/c I live it, I WALK it, and I know better to get sucked into the “Secret”, JEW/Satanist Chopra, and sellout Baldy Wayne Dyer who openly supports the Iraqi conflict, and whose daughter is probably an MK Ultra slave. Marty is on it about what we give out we attract. We are responsible for our actions, nobody elsa, so own that and move on.

  6. dave said,

    2012/03/09 at 7:31 PM

    is ALS a type of cancer?
    why do raw foodist vegetarians, anti-war, tree hugging environmentalists get cancer? i know some russ,

    • Marty Murray said,

      2012/03/09 at 8:04 PM

      Dave, you rock. Even Russ the meanie ain’t chasing you away.

      Hope you don’t mind my taking a crack at answering your questions.

      Als is not a type of cancer.

      As far as why those people experience cancer, the answer is that they have some pattern in their ways that adds up to cancer. For instance there are many angry tree huggers, many anti war types who wage war in their own ways and many environmentalists who don’t realize that negative attitides are just as harmful as physical pollution. These ways can contribute to the creation of cancer.

      Of course then ya have to wonder why Russ is still physically healthy, at least as far as I am aware. Maybe, as Wayne Dyer might say, Russ is intent on staying healthy, or maybe as negative as he may act, he is somehow on a healthier track in some way than are many others. Hmm. Maybe many peacenicks are repressing their inner Russes and what they are repressing is showing up as cancer.

      Also, Russ has a key thing going on. He has taken responsibility for his health.

      • russ hook said,

        2012/03/10 at 12:41 AM

        Hi Dave, you eat “fully organic” DEAD ANIMALS too??? Then you DESERVE cancer don’t you? In 500 words or less tell me WHY you don’t deserve the same fate/suffering that you perPETrate on animals. This should be very revealing if you choose to answer….. 500 words or less Dave? Can you grunt that out???

    • russ hook said,

      2012/03/10 at 12:39 AM

      I wonder what % of “tree-huggers” get cancer? Trees give off healing energy FYI. Show me these raw-foodists that get cancer??? The info about health that I own is invaluable, but only to those who can grasp it. When you exist at LOWER levels you cannot reach high enough. Raise your vibration by eating a LIVING diet, not DEAD ANIMALS, and NOTHING with a FACE!

  7. Carrie said,

    2012/11/28 at 10:48 PM

    Russ’ comments I find somewhat true, however, how do you explain childhood cancers? Children tend to be the most free spirited, easily excited, happy, and full-of-life people in this world. I disagree that children are capable of sending out negativity into this world, unless they are sociopaths in the making…. Just a thought.

    • Marty Murray said,

      2012/11/29 at 7:43 PM

      We all, including children, have sickness creating patterns going on.

      Maybe to experience cancer a person does not have to be as negative as what you perceive Russ to be saying the person does, more just have some patterns, something enough negative or flawed, something consistently repeating, to create cancer.

      Also, Russ would say, “Where are all the innocent bystanders? I don’t see them.” One thing he is referring to is the treatment of animals on farms and the production of meat. Children eating meat, the bodies of tortured, murdered animals, is enough negative to create cancer in his book.

      Also, if you think about it, even the cutest, liveliest children can have mean or negative sides to them.

    • russ hook said,

      2012/11/29 at 10:00 PM

      Children are bombarded with toxic POISONS from Day 1 nowadays. Poisonous additives, and chemicals in the food they eat,(aspartame in over 6,000 processed foods, MSG, GMOs, etc.) the highly negative energy of tortured, terrorized dead animals takes it’s toll also. Very few take into consideration the deadly effects of “invisible” EMFs/ELFs from 60HZ appliances, cell phones, computers, etc. also. Their zombie parents are CLUELESS to this, and take them to “doctors” for even more POISONS/medications. Do you find this “somewhat” true also Carrie???? lol

  8. ANIMAL EATER said,

    2013/01/29 at 8:58 PM

    ROFLMAO at all of you!! ESPECIALLY the ever so arrogant Russ!!

    “IGNORANCE IS THE ONLY SIN” ??? hahaha GOOD luck with that one on YOUR day of reckoning my all knowing little imbecile.

    ~ a lifetime DEAD ANIMAL eater with many like minded friends, NONE of whom have cancer. Many having lived and died a long happy and healthy life into their 80’s 90’s and even past 100

    While I do totally agree with the fact there is way too much mass brain washing going on, ya’ll still crack my sheet up!!

    • Marty Murray said,

      2013/01/29 at 9:35 PM

      I do notice that you have no hair on your head. Guessing that most of it fell out before you shaved off the rest. Hmm. Wondering if that has something to do with dead animal eating and suspecting that it does, at least partly. Don;t be thinkin’ it’s about genes, ’cause it’s not. Ya learn something new every day, y’animal eater.

  9. 2015/04/23 at 11:41 PM

    Thank you for this article! I’ve been dealing with a friend who has fallen into this addiction, on top of other issues. She tries to convince others they have the same illness, and tells them to “beware of false negatives.” She’s more than willing to take any and every “alternative treatment” offered, but when adviced about medication and testing to confirm her self-diagnosis (which is never confirmed), she balks and makes excuses. As someone who cares a lot for her, and realizes she IS sick, in a different way, I hate feeling like she’s going to die soon.

  10. Graham said,

    2015/11/10 at 5:54 AM

    A very intersting and illuminating article.I must confess although Ive been into healing for yeats nw to my own horror have discoverd theres an attachment and lingering addiction to being sick (classic secondary gain) Any tips advice would be grateful because the tcost is out weighing the gai .re ceived alot of abuse and trauma on every and feel this how I compensate for all my loss.Please help Sincerely Graham

    • Marty Murray said,

      2015/11/14 at 3:26 PM

      So the basic issue is that on some level you feel that the only, or optimal, way to get the secondary gain you mention is to stay sick. I mean that even if you feel that there is another way, maybe you are angry or scared or hurt to the point where you don’t even want to use a different way, but clearly staying sick is not that great either.

      So you have a conflict between not wanting to be sick and feeling that being sick is the way to get gains. That single conflict is surrounded by a web of conceptualization of reality, or beliefs, and strategies that are based on your conception.

      So changing your pattern tends to require changing your conception of things and changing your strategies.

      By making your conception of things, more accurate, in any way, and your strategies more based on how things really work and therefore more effective, you can change all of your patterns, which are interrelated.

      The key thing to use to do this is your own ability to discern the logic of things and your own sense of rightness. You can use them to figure out what you believe that is not true and to adjust what you believe to make it more in line with reality. You can also use your internal sense of rightness and logical skills to adjust your strategies.

      You are in a way already aware of the end game here. Eventually you won’t be doing much of this secondary gain stuff, and you will allow yourself to be healthier. So with that in mind, you need to adjust the internal puzzle to make that situation manifest.

      This process will at times be very uncomfortable and even painful, as you deal the issues and pain you have been avoiding, but by sticking with your sense of truth and rightness and riding out the discomfort until it dissolves, you will make progress toward health.

      If you have not already, you may get some ideas from this post.

  11. Tameika said,

    2017/04/13 at 11:17 PM

    I completely understand and agree with everything the article says. 100%

  12. Tameika said,

    2017/04/13 at 11:19 PM

    My only question is how do you help someone if they are addicted to being sick and in denial about it?

    • Marty Murray said,

      2017/04/14 at 5:52 AM

      Hi Tameika.

      First I can give you a flip answer, one that actually has some truth in it. One move you can make is to admit that you are addicted to that person being sick, figure out why that is, and change the energy of the situation on your own, without having to convince anyone else of anything. That’s one angle you could start working on this from.

      Overall, to get a situation like the one you described to change, you have to have an intention to make it change. Right?

      Beyond that, I can say that you just have to be gentle and persistent, doing things like planting ideas and raising awareness.

      Also, realize that the issues you are seeing are not present in isolation. In other words, the person could be super terrified or could have relationship or other life issues to deal with that are very real. So it’s not as if the person can just flip a switch and decide to be healthy. There are many things that have to shift in order for this situation to change, and it could take years for significant, obvious change to occur.

      The thing to do is stick with these things, and not be fooled into thinking either that you are making more progress than you actually are or that significant progress is not possible. People are always listening, and as I said, when the “other” is not optimally receptive, you can always change a situation by working on yourself.

      Please feel free to call me at my cell phone number, which is all over the internet, if you want to discuss approaches or anything else related to this matter or to healing in general.

  13. Michael said,

    2017/09/06 at 5:47 PM

    There’s an interesting point being made here–that illness finds ways of entrenching itself in our lives, and by doing so creates incentives for us to remain in a state of illness. But the other ideas here are so complacent, compassionless, sloppy, and smug, that what’s worth noticing ends up getting buried.

    Take for instance this claim: “Still, the addiction that does the most to make and keep people sick is addiction to sickness itself.”

    This is a claim about addiction and sickness in general–one that should only be believed on the basis of huge amounts of data-driven research. It would take an organization larger than the CDC, studying populations larger than the entire US healthcare system to show that this statement is true. But all we’re given is one anecdote…on a blog.

    • Marty Murray said,

      2017/09/06 at 6:01 PM

      Hi Michael.

      Nice insights in your comment.

      At the same time, I can say that I was not so out of line saying “Still, the addiction that does the most to make and keep people sick is addiction to sickness itself,” given that addiction to sickness somehow figures into every situation involving chronic illness.

      That statement I made is based on the logic of how illness is created and maintained. So, you don’t need a study to prove it correct, rather merely an understanding of how illness works.

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