People With ‘Invisible Disabilities Or Illnesses” Are Opening Up About Their Experiences On Twitter And The Results Are Eye-Opening

A thread on Twitter about the difficulties of living with invisible illness or disability has gone viral—shedding vital light on what many of us can’t see. 

The thread was started by Twitter user @MadelineDyerUK, who shared the realities of having Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a debilitating invisible disorder that is “generally characterized by joint hypermobility (joints that stretch further than normal), skin hyperextensibility (skin that can be stretched further than normal), and tissue fragility,” according to the Ehlers-Danlos Society

Dyer begins the thread with: 

According to the Invisible Disabilities Association, an invisible disability (for those who don’t already know) is defined as: 

…a physical, mental or neurological condition that limits a person’s movements, senses, or activities that is invisible to the onlooker. Unfortunately, the very fact that these symptoms are invisible can lead to misunderstandings,  false perceptions, and judgments.

Dyer continues her thread by discussing the difficulties of living with a disorder no one else can see—the assumptions and judgements that are made: 

She goes on to talk about the problematic situations that can arise for those suffering with an invisible disorder, such as this encounter in a supermarket: 

Dyer sums up her feelings about other people’s expectations and the effect they have on her, saying:

I struggle a lot with feeling guilt over what I *think* I should be able to do, and being called out by strangers for doing something or for not doing something for medical reasons is humiliating, embarrassing, destroys confidence, and lowers feelings of self-worth.

It didn’t take long for other Twitter users to share their own experiences with invisible illnesses or disorders: 

Commenters were appreciative of Dyer’s thread—an opportunity to vent their frustrations and educate the general public about what it’s like to suffer from an invisible illness: 

Learn more about invisible diseases from the Invisible Disabilities Association

H/T: BuzzFeed, Twitter