An invisible illness is simply any chronic illness with no outward symptoms. Different types of autoimmune conditions, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, and even cancer can qualify. It might not be immediately obvious to someone else that anything is wrong.
People with invisible illnesses may feel isolated or unsupported at times. The best thing you can do is simply to show support and compassion.
Invisible Illness Could Be Affecting Anyone You Come Across
One situation that tends to arise a lot is in parking lots when someone without a walker or wheelchair parks in a handicap spot. It’s important to remember that they may need that spot and still be in considerable pain.
While what you are witnessing may not seem right or fair, it’s important to remember that they may have a very good reason for using that spot. One of the most important things that you can do for people with an invisible illness is to avoid making snap judgments in situations such as these because the person appears healthy.
Someone with an invisible illness is quite literally fighting a battle you know little about.
Be Kind and Compassionate
Most of the time, this may just mean being there for the person, and listening, and asking questions. It means being patient when the person with the invisible illness may not be able to move as fast as you want them to or may need help bending over to pick something up.
Being kind and compassionate also means saving that bit of unsolicited advice, and not making insensitive comments.
Helping with everyday activities like meal prep, grocery shopping, or simply letting the dog out can take a tremendous amount of stress off of someone with an invisible illness. Being there to do the small things without being asked can have a large impact in the life of someone with a chronic illness.
The important thing to remember is that even when they’re not talking about it, someone with an invisible illness is likely going through life in pain, and it will impact nearly every facet of their lives.