There are probably hundreds, maybe even thousands of invisible illnesses. The ones that don’t show outright physical symptoms, the ones you can’t always spot or guess.
I’ve struggled all my life with ‘invisible illnesses’, whether it’s anxiety hidden throughout my mind, or stomach problems that you wouldn’t know about unless I told you. So have a lot of my family, from Crohns, depression, IBS and more.
Often these problems aren’t easily visible to outsiders and that can make it even harder for the person who is suffering from it who may well feel like no one will understand or perhaps even believe them.
But if my experience has taught me anything, it’s that it is real, whether its a mental or a physical problem. Please don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.
You feel how you feel, whether others can see it or they can’t.
I often amaze myself, because I look back on selfies I’ve taken and I can remember how I felt at the time. Often behind those pouts or smiles, there’s been anxiety attacks or days where OCD has dragged me down. But on the surface those pictures look happy and relaxed. It’s amazing what a camera angle can hide.
If you know someone who’s suffering, then take the time to talk to them and to support them. It may be that just a friendly catch up or help with the daily chores might just allow them a bit of time to rest and relax. Try to be sympathetic, you might not always be able to understand, but try to be there for them.
If you’re struggling yourself then try to remember that what you’re going through is real and valid, even if you feel like people don’t believe or you can’t ‘prove it’. Take time to rest and look after yourself. Try to get through each day an hour at a time or each week one day at a time.
Always be kind to people because you just never know what they may be battling. They say you never know what goes on behind closed doors and it’s true. Take time out of your day to be just that little bit kinder to people. One day, it may be you that needs it.