Some would argue having an illness that is invisible is a good thing. And at times it can be because one gets to choose who to share what information with. But it's also difficult because no one ever believes the seriousness of one's illness or pain level.
San Diego, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 09/06/2008 -- With nearly half the population* living with an invisible illness, there is every reason to give the person fighting for the last empty spot on the bus the benefit of the doubt, even if she is in her twenties. But we rarely do. If you “look good” you must certainly “feel good.” Right?
The mom who never participates in school functions may not be lazy, she may be grateful that she is at home rather than in the hospital again this week.
The grandmother who is unable to bounce her new baby grandson on her knee isn’t lacking in joy about being a grandma; she just doesn’t trust her strength and balance.
The dad across the street who asks for a ride down to the hardware store may not be asking because his car is broken down for a third time this month (like he claims), but rather because an invisible medical condition has caused him to temporarily lose his driver’s license.
These are just a few reasons bloggers are taking to the internet September 8 and blogging about invisible illness issues throughout the week to help spread awareness.
Whether your family is impacted by autism, mental illness, depression, eating disorders, the beginning stages of Parkinson’s Disease, one of the many autoimmune diseases, or even severe chronic pain, the invisibility factor can cause the emotions of living with an illness even harder to cope with than the actual medical condition.
As shown in recent Dear Abby letters, family and friends often think those with invisible illnesses are hypochondriacs or trying to get attention. Rarely is someone given the benefit of the doubt that they could feel much worse than they look.
How can you explain something no one else can see? How can your pain be that bad if you can still walk around the grocery store and push a heavy cart? Why are people quick to judge that you “can’t be that bad” if you arrived at the party in a wheelchair and are dancing by the end of the night? (As may be the case with a condition like Multiple Sclerosis).
Join National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week’s campaign to educate others on living with invisible illness by blogging about it September 8-12, 2008. You can also download a badge for your site at www.invisibleillnessblog.com and post a comment about your own blog and the topic.
They are also featuring a “virtual conference” with twenty online workshops with some of the biggest names in chronic illness experts and bloggers at Blog Talk Radio at http://www.invisibleillnessconference.com .
Lisa Copen, initiator of National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week says, “We hope people will be enthusiastic to care enough to erase the myths surrounding invisible illness. Together we can make an impact through our stories.”
*Chronic Care in America, 133 million Americans live with a chronic condition; US Census Bureau show about 96% of illnesses are invisible and no assistive device is utilized.