The term “invisible illness” is a relatively new thing. Years ago, you only talked to your physician about any illnesses you might have. However, with the increasing popularity of the internet and social media, the way we talk about illnesses has changed. And the term “invisible illness” is a result of those changes.
So what is the difference between a chronic illness and an invisible illness? When people are discussing their chronic illnesses, they are typically discussing their issues with a physician or a healthcare professional. When they are referring to invisible illness, they are typically referring to their relationship with illness and the way that the world interacts with their illness.
So what is included in the conversation about invisible illnesses? Discussing an invisible illness may include:
- the way your illness affects your relationships
- how communication can make things better
- the way your illness may affect your job and the way your co-workers and supervisors see you
- the way your illness affects your kids
When people discuss a chronic illness, they are referring to the length of time they will be dealing with the illness. When people talk about invisible illness, they are referring to an illness that people can’t see. And while it shouldn’t matter if someone can see digestive issues, blood sugar, pain, or chemical imbalances, it does.
Everyone wants to feel understood. Everyone wants to feel seen. For those who experience life through the lens of an illness that no one else really understands, it can be difficult to feel like the world is accepting. Whether you are living with a chronic illness or not, whether you are healthy or not, the main thing you need to remember is that you never know what the person next to you is going through.
It’s important to treat everyone with compassion and to show them that there is a place for them. It’s important to help others as much as you can and strive to understand other people’s experiences.