What is an Invisible Illness?
According to the Invisible Disabilities Association, an invisible illness is "a physical, mental or neurological condition that is not visible from the outside, yet can limit or challenge a person’s movements, senses, or activities".
Often people think that the term "disability" relates to someone in a wheelchair or who is "visibly" physically impaired. Yet current statistics show that 96% of illnesses are invisible. This is why people often judge by what they see and in turn can cause frustrations for those who seem able but are not.
Below are just some examples of common invisible illnesses:
- ADHD, Anxiety, Asthma
- Chronic pain, Coeliac Disease, Crohn's disease
- Depression, Diabetes
- Endometreosis, Epilepsy
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Migraines, Multiple Sclerosis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Ulcerative Colitis
For many, they may still be living a fully active life when it comes to work, families, hobbies and day to day activities. This is often what can cause confusion, misunderstandings and judgements as having no physical symptoms or visible "struggles" leads people to misunderstand what someone is going through behind closed doors.
Due to these misunderstandings, people are often not forthcoming with their conditions as they want to avoid a lack of acceptance. In the long-run it causes them more problems and is the reason why communication is so important. If people living with invisible illnesses felt more understood, they would talk about it more and this is why it's so vital we continue to raise awareness.
Each and every person's story is different, but they all deal with the day to day struggle of living with something that's not visible to others. As much as this may seem like a good thing to some, it brings with it a different type of difficulty. We will continue to share more personal stories on our blog so you can understand exactly what different people go through and how amazing they are doing to raise awareness in their own way.