Suffers From Ever Appropriate When Talking About Disability?
suffers from to be first-person or
internal language and
was diagnosed with,
experiences, etc., to be third-person or
external language. If your students are talking about a condition they themselves have (depression, anxiety, spina bifida, etc.,),
suffer from could be an appropriate description depending on how they feel about it. If they’re talking about a condition someone else has, more
external wording is appropriate:
She experiences terrible migraines.
I suffer from terrible migraines
IHe was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at a young age.
I suffer from cerebral palsy.
However, when talking about a condition that is inherently temporary/some kind of injury,
suffered is appropriate:
He suffered a concussion.
The children are suffering from the measles.
They suffered through their aunt explaining how olive oil can cure cancer.
If you need to give a hard and fast rule to your students, I would instruct them to avoid and stick to the less problematic third‐person(ish) phrases.