There are those illnesses that people can easily see. A person with a cold, a broken or sprained limb, a rash, etc… Then there are those illnesses which are invisible, yet just as debilitating and at times life threatening.

No one can see fibromyalgia or benign tumors that could be causing pain. The person walks around in pain or forgets because of an episode of fibrofog. Yet, even those hidden pains are at least medical issues. Invisible, painful and impacting a persons daily life. There are many other invisible illnesses that I have not mentioned.

Then there is mental illness. It is invisible, it lives inside the body eating away the body and its functions due the medications needed to maintain “normal”. Silence falls over and darkness sets in. The person attempts to hide their illness due to the social stigma. Rarely do people want to know how they are truly doing. It is thought that the person is unstable and even dangerous. It is the invisible illness that if it becomes known could drive away friends, family, or even cause the loss of a job. The scariest part of mental illness is that even though treatments are available, insurance sometimes does not cover them and the three visits a year that they may cover in some cases are not enough.

I believe that the invisible illnesses are the worst. Whether it is not being believed or the unknown, others seem more afraid of these. Maybe we need to share a little compassion with people. A person who seems to be moving slowly or cannot remember what was said to them the day before. Patience and empathy are difficult.

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