Top 10 Worst Diseases

The Top Ten
1 Cancer

My grandma has had cancer for about a year now, and it's so depressing seeing her in so much pain. She's been throwing up every time she eats and drinks and always seems tired. She's on hospice now, so I want to spend as much time with her as I can while she's still here.

4/22/24: I woke up this morning to find out my grandma passed away. It's been really hard for me. It doesn't feel real at all, almost like a dream. It's so sad, but I'm just glad she's not in pain anymore. That's all that matters. She was dear to me and will always be loved and remembered for the beautiful person she was, and I will cherish the memories we had together.

2 AIDS

The worst thing about it is that you don't know if you have AIDS until your immune system is almost or completely destroyed. So, AIDS can basically weaken your body so that a mere cold can kill you.

Tens of millions of people have been killed by it. It can't be cured. Besides sexual contact, it can be spread through needles. The most heavily affected country is South Africa. Be careful.

AIDS is horrible. Once you have it, it NEVER goes away. Cancer is more deadly, but AIDS stays with you forever.

3 Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

I really think Ebola is bad. Possibly, you can die in just two hours once you get it. Now there is a cure though: black seeds and honey. In Africa, the sickness is spreading. I hope everyone gets cured.

I consider Ebola worse than cancer. I mean, with cancer, you have better chances of surviving. Ebola? I don't know if people agree with me. You know, in the Islamic religion, Mohammed said that black seeds and honey are the cure for every sickness but death. That could be the cure for AIDS as well.

I must be really brave - I've read The Hot Zone while eating despite all the blood and gore of it. Ebola seems not only to be extremely lethal but also quite fascinating. I always find the more deadly germs and diseases more interesting than the milder ones.

Don't forget Ebola's sibling, Marburg - it's not as deadly as Ebola, but it still has a very high mortality rate and the same sort of symptoms. Nice or what?

4 ALS

Let me paint a picture for you: one day, you go to pick up a pencil, but you realize you're having a difficult time holding it. Eventually, you realize you're having a hard time holding your fork to get food to your mouth. You start having trouble walking, so you need a cane to walk. However, sooner rather than later, you are no longer able to walk even with the help of a cane. Your voice starts to fade as you find it difficult to talk. The only thing you can do at this point is ask for help with basic tasks like going to the bathroom or eating.

In the blink of an eye, you are no longer able to swallow food. Being able to say one word becomes nearly impossible. Unable to speak, eat, or walk, the last thing you are finally unable to do is breathe. And this is how ALS kills you. It takes everything from you that makes you human. It leaves you with nothing. So yes, this is my vote for the worst disease known to man. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

5 Rabies

This disease is literally terrifying. You have agonizing pain, you lose your grip on reality and become basically crazy, you're terrified of water and breeze, foam at the mouth, and choke on your own saliva. But the worst part is if you contract it without a vaccination and don't get help in time, there is nothing you can do but wait until you slowly die.

Everything else on this list has some kind of redeeming quality. Cancer can be treated and even cured. Ebola lasts no more than a few days. AIDS and conditions like Parkinson's can be somewhat managed by medication.

With rabies, there are no redeeming qualities. It is a slow, agonizing death that lasts for days or weeks. Once your symptoms start showing up, there is no cure or treatment. The disease causes intense physical pain but has an unparalleled emotional component that causes even the most rational human being to lose their grip on reality and devolve into being a rabid animal.

6 Alzheimer's Disease

My friend has a grandmother going through this. His grandmother has dementia, and on the day of his grandfather's funeral, she didn't know what was going on. She told them they had to be quiet because otherwise, the Russians would find them. She also said her dad locked the barn so they wouldn't find them. (She grew up in Germany during WWII).

She would ask for her husband a few times, and my friend would tell her that he went for a walk. They would just make stuff up every time because she would immediately forget it. Then, at the cemetery during the ceremony, when she saw the picture of her dead husband, she finally realized what was going on. She realized the man she loved for 60 years had died.

And 5 minutes later, she was back to normal. The man she loved for 60 years didn't exist anymore. He never existed. Erased from her memory. And she was back in the barn, hiding, being quiet so the Russians wouldn't find her.

7 Fatal Familial Insomnia

Prion diseases such as this one will always terrify me. Fatal Familial Insomnia is an extremely rare genetic disorder that causes progressive insomnia and dementia until the person dies, usually within 18 months from the onset of symptoms. FFI is autosomal dominant, so if any of your relatives have had this disease, you have a 50/50 chance of also having it.

There's a reason why this is said to be the worst disease you could possibly get. Being diagnosed with this horror must be the most terrifying feeling ever, as it's completely incurable as of now. What's worse than being doomed to slowly die, facing paranoia, hallucinations, and dementia along the way?

8 Schizophrenia

I have a severe case of schizophrenia. I experience terrifying hallucinations involving all five senses, which are just as vivid as reality. The voices are tormenting, derogatory, and frightening, often yelling, screaming, and commanding me to harm myself, instructing me on how to do it. I frequently feel trapped, believing I will lose everything due to plots against me, being poisoned, or similar scenarios.

The antipsychotic medication I take is harmful to my brain and body, although without it, I would likely be hospitalized long-term. Even with the medication, I still experience symptoms as well as side effects. I cannot rely on my senses, thoughts, or emotions to provide accurate information about other people or the world around me. I have gained over 100 pounds from the medication, and I suffer from Parkinsonian side effects and other health issues, not just from the medication but also from the disease itself. There is a significant amount of stigma surrounding schizophrenia, and there is a lack of support available.

9 Diabetes

I've had Type 1 Diabetes for over ten years now. Since I was seventeen, I've been injecting myself on average 5-6 times a day and pricking my fingers to test the sugar content of my blood. If I tally the total number of injections, I would estimate it to be almost 19,000. In those ten years, I have not had a day off. Every day, more injections into already bruised parts of my body. The bruising never goes away.

The humiliation of your own body turning against you and coming very close to killing you is too much. I've woken from the warped nightmares of hypoglycemic comas more times than I can remember. Every new day is a test to prevent the next episode from being the last. There is no end to this disease. It will get you eventually.

10 Malaria

It may not be the strongest, but in terms of how many people it kills, malaria is a disease that might as well have been created by the Grim Reaper. Of all the humans who died, it is believed that about 50% of their deaths were attributed to malaria.

So, to put things into context, the animal that causes more human deaths than any other isn't elephants, crocodiles, hippos, or even humans themselves. It's mosquitoes. They cause more than a million deaths every year. Let the embarrassment sink in.

The Contenders
11 Bubonic Plague

I know there are many other scary diseases out there, but in my opinion, "The Black Death" has to be #1 if you research how exactly this horrifying disease kills you. (Warning: there are three different strains of this disease, and if you were to get every single one of those strains at once, you'd literally decompose while you're still alive!).

Yellow fever would be #2 worst disease in my opinion regarding the symptoms because it is basically "The Black Death" just without the formation of the buboes. And Ebola would be the third worst disease in my opinion regarding the symptoms.

12 Parkinson's Disease

My grandfather died of this disease. There is a sort of cure. If you fight and they get the dosage right, then you live longer. It's a genetic thing and is actually passed through the mother, but normally, a man gets it.

Early signs are hands shaking when you sit down and aren't doing things with your hands. I watched a man who could put me on his shoulders and laugh all day die on a hospital bed in a coma-like state. He wasn't even alive long enough for the doctors to figure it out. It's bad, really bad.

The victims of the disease are not at fault for their condition and there is no cure, only symptom management, as far as I know. I don't know why rabies is ranked higher or worse than this. But then again, there is a lot I don't know.

13 Cholera

Yeah, it sounds like the worst, losing up to 2 gallons of water a day through diarrhea. If that wasn't bad enough, if you aren't hooked up to an IV, the salt shock will kill you before the dehydration does.

The scientist who discovered the cure tested it by actually infecting himself with cholera. Obviously, it worked, or else there wouldn't be a cure. That takes guts.

They have found a cure for it, but you can only get it in North America.

14 Huntington's Disease

I have Huntington's Disease. I've watched my family members deteriorate in front of me. I am 29, diagnosed at 24. My CAG repeat is considered high. I was told it's terminal. I am also constantly refused government assistance, even though it affects my ability to work, think, and function as a regular part of society. My biggest struggle is getting the assistance I need for health coverage, food, etc.

Not to mention, I've been caring for my father who is 64 and has progressed through dementia. I still can't get a home to accept him due to his lack of lifetime income or savings. He never worked. I've never felt more alone or helpless.

15 Coronary Artery Disease
16 HIV Infection

How is schizophrenia above this?

17 Leukemia
18 Smallpox

It's an often fatal disease that spreads like wildfire!

Worst disease in my book. Have you seen the pictures?

Killed one-third of the people who got it.

19 Epilepsy

Epilepsy turned my friend's neighbor into a vegetable with no memory, cognitive abilities, or mobility. Every time after an attack, he is pretty much a newborn child. You have to learn everything again, and he has these attacks on a daily basis.

He actually used to be a really smart person before epilepsy. It's horrible when you think about how such a disease can turn a person into a nobody. Sounds rough, but it's just like that.

Heartbreaking disease that people of all ages, races, and genders can have, whether from genetics, a lack of oxygen in the brain at birth, severe head injuries, or as the result of neurological damage from brain tumors and strokes.

The thought of your own brain turning against you and causing you to do things out of your control is terrifying, and sadly, most people with this disease can end up severely injured.

20 Swine Flu

People underestimate this disease. It is VERY bad and serious. I learned that the hard way.

Even a great country like Japan got infected with this disease. Screw this one.

21 Yellow Fever

I got bit by a mosquito in Brazil and caught this. Thank God that I am still here.

I'm glad that my dad recently got a vaccination for yellow fever.

It's an irrational fear, and it is bad. Untreated, it can kill thousands of people.

22 Polio
23 Crohn's Disease

Crohn's Disease is a traumatic illness because of its unrelenting pain, often not visible from the outside. As a sixteen-year-old female, I dropped forty pounds in a few short months, and my entire body was rendered weak and immobile at a mere 87 pounds. The pain from a Crohn's-induced stricture felt like labor contractions lasting for over a month. After being admitted to a hospital and undergoing surgery for an ostomy (intestines pulled through the abdominal wall and attached to an outer bag), I attest to the humility this disease has put me through, sentencing me to wear a poop bag.

Sepsis from an ileostomy that came unstitched (the riskiest surgery above even a heart transplant) left me in unbearable pain to the point of sedation, even for someone like me who has an extremely high pain tolerance! It suppresses one's strength, causing weakness, arthritis, anemia, fatigue, blotchiness, paleness, malnourishment, loss of appetite, feverishness, bloating, severe immobilizing cramps, vomiting, a quickened heart rate, anxiety, depression, and painful episodes with uncontrollable bloody diarrhea.

24 Sudden Unexpected Nocturnal Death Syndrome (SUNDS)

This disease has no known causes, no prevention, no treatment, and no warnings. If you get it, you will not know it. If your friend gets it, they will not know it, and neither will you.

Basically, you die when you sleep. Don't search for this disease, just don't. It will keep you up at night.

25 Tetanus
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