Disability 101

Spoon Theory

Spoon theory was developed by Christine Miserandino to help explain her experience with chronic illness to a friend. Most simply, it is explaining limited amounts of physical or mental energy that some disabled people have in a day using a handful of spoons as a metaphor. I recommend that you read the original article if you have not yet. Link: https://butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/ 

Some people who resonate with spoon theory call themselves “spoonies.” Spoon theory can be extremely useful to describe some experiences of chronic illness, psych disabilities, and neurodivergence. 

But, there are conversations within the community about some people using spoon theory terminology too loosely who don’t actually have the same lived experiences with needing to ration physical, mental, or emotional energy as a way of surviving. And, spoon theory is sometimes used by people to talk about their experiences of being tired. So, please be mindful about whether you are someone who resonates with the terminology, and try not to use it if you do not.