Often, when people think of chronic disease, they think of someone who “looks sick” or uses supports you can see, like a wheelchair or cane. But millions of people are living with invisible conditions, like depression, chronic pain, endometriosis, diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and arthritis, among others.
Living with an invisible illness means many of your day-to-day symptoms and frustrations aren’t really apparent to other people. Often, they’re not easy to talk about for the same reason. But opening up about your hidden struggles can be a path to getting the help you need, educating others, combating isolation, and feeling better.
To draw attention to the things people are going through that often go unnoticed, we asked four people with invisible diseases to share their hard-earned insight and tips for others facing similar challenges.