Invisible Disabilities

Invisible Disabilities

Invisible Disabilities is an umbrella term that captures a whole spectrum of hidden disabilities or challenges that are primarily neurological in nature.

Do people sometimes have difficulty understanding how your symptoms such as extreme fatigue, dizziness, pain, and cognitive impairments can be so debilitating to you but can even be met with hostility by society at large?

People with some kinds of invisible disabilities, such as chronic pain or some kind of sleep disorder, are often accused of faking or imagining their disabilities. These symptoms can occur due to chronic illness, chronic pain, injury, birth disorders, etc. and are not always obvious to the onlooker.

Invisible Disabilities are certain kinds of disabilities that are not immediately apparent to others. It is estimated that 10% of people in the U.S. have a medical condition which could be considered a type of invisible disability.

Nearly one in two people in the U.S. has a chronic medical condition of one kind or another, but most of these people are not considered to be disabled, as their medical conditions do not impair their normal everyday activities. These people do not use an assistive device and most look and act perfectly healthy.

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) an individual with a disability is a person who: Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; has a record of such an impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment.

Generally seeing a person in a wheelchair, wearing a hearing aid, or carrying a white cane tells us a person may be disabled. But what about invisible disabilities that make daily living a bit more difficult for many people worldwide?

Invisible disabilities can include chronic illnesses such as renal failure, diabetes, and sleep disorders if those diseases significantly impair normal activities of daily living.

For example there are people with visual or auditory impairments who do not wear hearing aids or eye glasses so they may not seem to be obviously impaired. Those with joint conditions or problems who suffer chronic pain may not use any type of mobility aids on good days, or ever.

Another example is Fibromyalgia which is now understood to be the most common cause of chronic musculoskeletal pain. Sources estimate between 3 and 26 million Americans suffer from this hidden condition.

Other Types of Invisible Disabilities:

Chronic Pain: A variety of conditions may cause chronic pain. A few of those reasons may be back problems, bone disease, physical injuries, and any number of other reasons. Chronic pain may not be noticeable to people who do not understand the victims specific medical condition.

Chronic Fatigue: This type of disability refers to an individual who constantly feels tired. This can be extremely debilitating and affect every aspect of a persons every day life.

Mental Illness: There are many mental illnesses that do qualify for disability benefits. Some examples are depression, attention deficit disorder, schizophrenia, agoraphobia, and many others. These diseases can also be completely debilitating to the victim, and can make performing everyday tasks extremely difficult, if not impossible.

Chronic Dizziness: Often associated with problems of the inner ear, chronic dizziness can lead to impairment when walking, driving, working, sleeping, and other common tasks.

People with psychiatric disabilities make up a large segment of the invisibly-disabled population covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Invisible disabilities can also include chronic illnesses such as renal failure, diabetes, and sleep disorders if those diseases significantly impair normal activities of daily living. If a medical condition does not impair normal activities, then it is not considered a disability.

96% of people with chronic medical conditions live with an illness that is invisible.

Many people living with a hidden physical disability or mental challenge are still able to be active in their hobbies, work and be active in sports. On the other hand, some struggle just to get through their day at work and some cannot work at all.

List of disabilities considered invisible disabilities







ADHD

Anxiety disorders

Arachnoiditis

Asperger Syndrome

Autism

Bipolar disorder

Brain injuries

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease

Chronic fatigue syndrome

Chronic pain

Circadian rhythm sleep disorders

Coeliac Disease

Crohn's disease

Depression

Diabetes
Epilepsy

Fibromyalgia

Food allergies

Fructose malabsorption

Hereditary Fructose Intolerance

Hyperhidrosis

Hypoglycemia

Inflammatory bowel disease

Interstitial cystitis

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Lactose Intolerance

Lactulose Intolerance

Lupus

Lyme Disease
Major depression

Metabolic syndrome

Multiple Sclerosis

Personality disorders

Primary immunodeficiency

Psychiatric disabilities

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy

Repetitive stress injuries

Rheumatoid arthritis

Schizophrenia

Scleroderma

Sjögren's syndrome

Temporomandibular joint disorder

Transverse Myelitis

Ulcerative Colitis.