Illnesses that you can’t see are as real as those you can see.
Invisible illnesses are not a rarity. Approximately half of North Americans have a chronic condition; over 90% of these are not outwardly symptomatic.
This means millions of people live with chronic illnesses that are not visible to others. The list of conditions includes gastrointestinal illnesses such as Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome; illnesses characterized by intense pain and fatigue such as arthritis, SLE, myalgic encephalomyelitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and fibromyalgia; autoimmune disorders, certain neurological diseases and more.
Because the symptoms of these illnesses may not be visible, the people who have them struggle daily to get others (including their doctors) to understand their circumstances. Imagine the frustration, everyday, of having to contend with insinuations that your symptoms are not real. Imagine the courage it takes to carry on, everyday, knowing that permanent relief is only a distant possibility.
Invisible Disabilities Awareness Week
Show your support by educating yourself and others about the challenges of living with chronic illness and chronic pain. Start by visiting invisibledisabilities.org to learn more. Show your support because it matters to someone you know.