While Invisible Disease Awareness Month is in October, it’s never a bad time to learn about these conditions and how they play a role in our lives. We’ve put together this guide to help you understand invisible illnesses and how you can find support for yourself or someone you love.
What is an Invisible Illness?
When you think of someone with a disabling condition, you may imagine them using a walker, wheelchair, hearing aid, or another type of device for assistance. However, not all illnesses and disabilities look like this. Certain conditions don’t show any physical signs, despite the effect they have on your life.
An invisible illness, sometimes known as a silent sickness, is any chronic condition or disability that doesn’t show outward signs. Put simply, an invisible illness isn’t usually apparent to the outside world even though it may greatly affect you.
Common invisible illnesses include:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Autoimmune diseases
- Chronic pain
- Traumatic brain injury
- Chronic migraines
How Does an Invisible Illness Affect Me?
Living with an invisible mental illness can be challenging. You may find it difficult to work, care for yourself, or communicate with friends and family.
You might even find yourself feeling isolated, or as if no one understands what you’re going through. To make matters worse, it can be hard to explain the effects of an invisible illness to your loved ones. This lack of understanding can lead to judgment and misunderstandings that make you feel more alone.
Living with an Invisible Mental Illness
Despite the feelings of doubt and isolation invisible mental illness can bring, your condition is very much real and deserves the same attention any physical illness demands.
In fact, over 13 million people in the U.S. seek treatment for an invisible mental illness every year. If you haven’t seen a doctor about your symptoms, it’s never too late to ask for help. There are many types of treatment available that have proven very effective for people suffering from a mental disorder.
When dealing with an invisible mental illness, it’s important to seek out support from people that you trust. Talk to a close friend or family member and explain what you’re going through. Walk them through areas in your life where you’re struggling and discuss how they can help you in your everyday life.
Attending a support group is another good opportunity to share your feelings in a safe space. Your doctor can provide you with support group recommendations and other invisible disabilities resources, such as referrals to social workers and residential assistance programs.
Find Residential Support in Dakota County
If you’re struggling to live on your own because of an invisible mental illness or disability, the compassionate experts at Options Residential Inc. are here to help. We offer an array of customized living arrangements to support you while you get back on your feet.
We know that everyone is different, which is why we work with you to understand your goals and create a customized plan to help you learn to live independently again. We’re the best choice for community residential services in Dakota County and the surrounding areas.
Call us at (952) 564-3030 or fill out our referral form to learn more about our services.