Many people are struggling each and every day with challenges and disabilities that the people around them can’t necessarily see. Numerous health conditions are invisible and are often only known to the person themselves such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, multiple sclerosis, bipolar disorder, autism, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and epilepsy.
A common phrase heard by people with invisible disabilities is “But you don’t look sick”. And sadly people are often not apt to believe what they can’t see. Christina Irene, an invisible-disabilities speaker says “Invisible conditions can be just as disabling as visible conditions — oftentimes more so — but they don’t get the empathy or credibility that visible conditions get”.
And to make matters even tougher advocate Eileen Davidson felt the fact that her illness wasn't apparent made her delay getting care. "I actually denied care for a bit because I felt like I didn't need it ... It took a while for me to actually accept that I was living with a debilitating condition". She now advocates on behalf of others suffering from invisible illnesses. Read more of her story here.
The Invisible Disabilities Association encourages the sharing of stories of Visible Courage. Share your stories with the hashtag #visiblecourage
Ways to participate in Invisible Disabilities Week:
- Request an Invisible Disabilities Week Proclamation for your state! Details HERE!
- Find the Invisible Disabilities Week Online on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!
- Share your story, challenges, frustrations and triumphs!
- Share what helps get you through the day and make your courage visible!
- Share your favorite people, doctors, pets, Service Dogs, and happy places that help you get through!
- Share your social media accounts, blogs, books and awareness! It’s about YOU!
- Tag your posts with #InvisibleDisabilitiesWeek and #VisibleCourage on Instagram and Twitter!
- Download an IDW Badge or IDW Frame then upload it to your social media profile images!
- Download an IDW Banner then save it or print it! Share it or take photos with it on social media!
- Wear blue! Post pictures with your Invisible No More Wristband, ID Wallet, Lapel Pin or a blue shirt, scarf, tie, socks or hat!
- Invite friends, family and groups to join you by sharing IDW Posts and our Facebook Event Page!
- Join IDA’s Invisible Disabilities Community (online support group).
- Check out IDA’s website, National Disability ID, But You LOOK Good Booklet, Invisible No More Wristbands, YouTube Channels, social media, articles, pamphlets, book and more!
Sometimes laugher is the best medicine. The Mighty complied these14 Memes Are for You If You've Ever Been Told You Don't 'Look' Sick.
Spoonie Threads understands the challenges of invisible and chronic disabilities and illnesses. Our new Spoonie Tees reflect that in our design: we see you. we hear you. we believe you. Perfect for Spoonies and their supporters.