The Spoon theory

spoon theory

The spoon theory helps to explain the amount of energy used by someone with a chronic physical or mental illness.  Every person has a certain amount of spoons and every task or activity that you complete will ‘cost’ you a certain amount of spoons.

A healthy person has an unlimited amount of spoons, whereas an ill person has a limited amount, which can vary day to day. A person with a chronic illness does not get to choose the amount of spoons they are given.  One day they may wake up feeling great and have 15 spoons and the next day they may wake up feeling awful and only have 7 spoons. Every task costs a spoon, some may cost more than one.  For a health individual this is no problem, but for an ill person it can majorly limits what they can do and it often requires a lot more energy (spoons) for them to complete a ‘simple’ task.

This metaphor is a strange one, but it helps to illustrate how draining chronic physical and mental illnesses can be.  So the next time you see someone struggling, help them out and give them one of your spoons because you don’t know how few they have left.

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One thought on “The Spoon theory

  1. I like the metaphor.
    Though I would disagree with the part that says a healthy person has an unlimited amount of spoons. I think we all have a specific amount. Some more, some less, but we all RUN OUT.

    Liked by 1 person

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