As a therapist with multiple sclerosis, and a Board member of the Invisible Disabilities Association, I can assure you that those with physical illnesses, esp hidden ones like cancer, ms, lupus, Crohn’s diseaes, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, etc., are not always treated with dignity. There are still people who will not hug someone with cancer for fear of “catching it”. An ms client was escorted from a grocery store after she fell into a display; the assumption was she was drunk, not that she fell because of balance problems. Read about my own experiences with people’s assumptions, misperceptions, and misunderstandings on my blog, ilikebeingsickanddisabled.com. and in my article for the government’s site, disability.gov, http://usodep.blogs.govdelivery.com/2012/07/25/looks-can-be-deceiving/. Mental health issues are as much a part of invisible disability as physical health issues are. Parsing them dilutes the effectiveness of advocacy. Without ignoring the special needs of any group under the umbrella of “disabiltiy”, it might, at some point, be worthwhile to give up the “me” in exchange for the “us”.
Categories: ALS, Cancer, Chronic illness, COPD, Disability/stigma, disabled, Effect of invisible (hidden) disability on relationship, Fibromyalgia, Health and wellness, Hearing loss, invisable, Invisable illnesses, invisible chronic illness, invisible disability, Loss of function, Macular degeneration, Migraines, Ms, Panic attacks, Parkinson's Disease, People with invisable illness, Personal experience with heart diesease, Personal Experiences, Rheumatoid Arthritis, society, Stigma, Stroke, Thyroid