National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week

Invisible Illness Week E-Patient Bloggers Are the Force Behind Awareness Campaign

If you live with an invisible illness, you may feel alone in your experience, but e-patient bloggers are using it as an opportunity to speak about the pain you never see.

 

San Diego, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 08/28/2012 -- When it comes to bloggers with passion, "e-patient bloggers" who share about their illness journeys, have changed how people find encouragement for living with their illness. A recent study found that 41% of e-patients have read someone else's commentary or experience about health or medical issues on an online news group, website or blog, and 38% say it changed the way they cope with a chronic condition or manage pain.*

National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week (NICIAW), established in 2002, is September 10-16, 2012 and e-patient bloggers are the inspirational force behind the campaign's success.

"These e-patient bloggers are strong advocates for increasing awareness for causes such as invisible illness," shares Lisa Copen, founder and coordinator for NICIAW. "They open up their hearts and become vulnerable in order to educate others and increase understanding among the healthy community."

InvisibleIllnessWeek.com features guest bloggers through September 16th that focus on a variety of topics that impact the lives of those who are chronically ill. These include being the spouse of one with illness, learning how to ask for help, and being a part of the patient community.

Anyone is welcome to participate in blogging about their illness, the emotions involved, their medical journey, or what they have learned. At InvisibleIllnessWeek.com a blogger can instantly link his or her blog to the campaign's website. Bloggers can also download the badge that shares their intent to blog about Invisible Illness Week or personal issues of living with an illness.

Copen shares, "The personal factor of reading about a similar health or illness experience of another person online, can sometimes be more influential than classes or doctor's instructions when it comes to learning to cope with pain."

Research has shown that among the those whose most recent online search affected their health, 56% say it changed their overall approach to maintaining their health or the health of someone they help take care of.*

Many e-patient bloggers are participating in the Invisible Illness Week Meme, "30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know." This year's theme, "Invisible Illness? Share Your Visible Hope!" encourages people to post photos via the website that show things that give them hope, whether it is a sunset, a pet, or a grandchild.

During Invisible Illness Week people can participate in the virtual conference by watching seminars with a variety of speakers on topics such as how your personality may influence your style of coping, how to work from home when ill, and to how to explain your illness to others. For more information see http://InvisibleIllnessWeek.com .

*The Social Life of Health Information, by Susannah Fox, Sydney Jones, 2009