It is often difficult to identify an underlying disease because it is “invisible” to others. You can’t know how sick a person just because its symptoms/effects don’t show on the outside. Millions of women suffer from “invisible illnesses” like CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome), fibromyalgia or a rare heart condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy- in this condition your heart can’t pump enough blood.
These unseen diseases make the suffering woman look like as if she is faking an illness. You might have often heard a woman being told that “it is all in your head, you are not sick”. Here are 8 things that women, who go through the underlying health conditions, experience and wish to share with the world:
Because you don’t see it, does not mean she is faking it. No one is asking you to understand her pain but don’t judge; it makes the person isolated and feel different.
“It is challenging to deal with a “hidden” illness”
Hearing things like “you don’t look sick” or “you are just over thinking, maybe you need a vacation” that does not help; this enrages the one who is sick. Dealing with the sickness is a task on its own, and an unsolicited health advice is not required.
“I can’t do it, even if I try”
Depression is a worldwide known disease and anyone can be diagnosed with it. Someone who suffers from pain that cannot be shared or made visible to the world, they often start feeling that they don’t belong to this world and they might be in constant fear.
“Don’t make me look down upon myself”
The person suffering from the illness is going through a lot of emotional turmoil and when the person is mad, it means they are making progress in venting out their anger and sharing their feelings; don’t make it look like they are behaving abnormally or irrationally as they are trying hard to accept their condition.
“Be my support”
They know they have a condition which is affecting their lives, be by their side as women are a little more emotionally sensitive.. Be their light in the dark times.
“Understand the difference between laziness and being unable to do it”
People assume that laziness is what invisible diseases are but they do not understand the repercussions of it; no one wants to be sick but that is how our body is.
“The illness affects more than you know”
Not only an invisible disease affects the physical health of a woman but also leaves her emotionally and mentally drained. She might have half of her body paining badly because of a hidden health condition but if she is still balancing well between her work and family, she is already a winner. Don’t judge the way she walks, sits or takes short breaks after a while. Don’t assume things and try to help women around you.
“Understand I need my space”
Here is what a woman with an invisible disease would like to tell you, “At times the pain that we go through is so excruciating that we don’t want others to see it, even slightly raised voice can make us cry. We want to be on our own, because the illness is a part of what we are, we do need time to deal with our emotions.”
The easiest thing to do is to judge a person on the basis of their appearance or movements, however, your vantage point might not be offering you the correct picture. Every individual has her own story; she might not share with you but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect her life. Let’s support the awesome women around us and make their life easier and better.