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Community Manager
Posts: 5,854
Registered: ‎23-07-2014

Living with "hidden" conditions

Hi everyone,

 

One of the articles on the Scope website talks about "hidden" conditions and the related challenges people face in their day-to-day lives, both in their personal lives and also in the working environment. The article concentrates on how people with these disabilities are perceived by others, and how our society, even though improvements are being made, should be more understanding and inclusive.

 

It made me feel sad to read about the author's feelings of humiliation for example when being refused a priority seat in the train when they had trouble standing, or that their job contract was terminated due to illness.

 

I have also read in the news several times how people are getting judged (sometimes very harshly too) for parking in the disabled parking space, as they don't have a "visible" disability.

 

If you or anyone you know is familiar with suffering from any "invisible impairments", it would be interesting to hear what kind of challenges were/are faced. If you haven't experienced this yourself but can think of any challenges and ways around them as well, please do share. slight smile

 

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Posts: 73,308
Topics: 688
Registered: ‎14-01-2013

Re: Living with "hidden" conditions

[ Edited ]

'Hidden Conditions' can cover a wide range of disabilities from Mental Health issues to diseases/ conditions which aren't obvious to the naked eye of observers.

 

The one the article discusses is Lupus which is an awful disease but one of many.

Attention Deficit Disorder, Autism, OCD, Dyslexia, Bi-Polar conditions are a few others. These have been discussed in the workplace and many have tools in place to deal with employees who admit to suffering with these conditions.

 

I would go one step further. You can have a terminal illness and still carry on as if nothing is wrong. This is the way you chose to live what life you have left.

Others can suffer with diabetes, epilepsy, Chrohns disease etc etc and no-one would be any the wiser.

 

Unfortunately, society still presumes that if people are up and walking about, they are not suffering with any disease, hidden or otherwise.

I call it 'the wheelchair syndrome'. If someone uses a wheelchair or mobility scooter, they are, to all intents and purposes, disabled, therefore worthy of sympathy.

If you don't use any type of mobility device, you aren't ill.

 

We are conditioned to see what we see. Anything else tends to be disregarded.

 

** Please note** I am aware I haven't covered a full range of hidden conditions. I have just used examples.

*The Game Is On*


Community Manager
Posts: 5,854
Registered: ‎23-07-2014

Re: Living with "hidden" conditions

Thanks for your comment @Cleoriff. The "wheelchair syndrome" is indeed a fitting way to put it. Another example I've heard about is being out and about with a disabled child which might also require to use a disabled badge, but since the parent looks 'fine' they might get disapproving comments from others when using a priority parking space for example.

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Posts: 73,308
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Registered: ‎14-01-2013

Re: Living with "hidden" conditions


@Marjo wrote:

Thanks for your comment @Cleoriff. The "wheelchair syndrome" is indeed a fitting way to put it. Another example I've heard about is being out and about with a disabled child which might also require to use a disabled badge, but since the parent looks 'fine' they might get disapproving comments from others when using a priority parking space for example.


Yes @Marjo that's also quite common here. You have to be very strong minded to weather the inherent disapproval of people who have absolutely no idea what's going on in your life...or what you may be 'hiding'.

If your condition/disability isn't obvious to the masses, then as far as they are concerned you are the same as everyone else.

*The Game Is On*


Level 26: Upbeat
Posts: 3,782
Registered: ‎03-08-2018

Re: Living with "hidden" conditions

[ Edited ]

Hi @Marjo  and @Cleoriff 

 

Interesting thoughts ~ I Slipped a disc many years ago and was in hospital on a stretcher for some time. Took a long time to get over.  Even when I had recovered and able to drive properly again sometimes I would feel aches and sciatica ~ looked enviously at the "near by the shop" empty disabled parking spaces!  When the only available spaces were miles awayupside down

Edited to mention that I have a great sympathy with those who are not recognised

with their difficulties 

 



Anonymous
Posts: 0

Re: Living with "hidden" conditions

I hate labels & judgmental people who have absolutely no clue about any one person. The term hidden conditions is horrendous & should be abolished. They are not hidden Just either undiagnosed or people who wish not to shout from the rooftops about their private situations 

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Re: Living with "hidden" conditions

A quote from the late great Robin Williams, actor / comedian

 

'Everyone is suffering from a condition you know nothing about ... Be Kind, Always'

 

It is well known on the Community I suffer with Bi-Polar Disorder ... it was my choice to mention it & it helps me if people know then they can decide whether to be friends with me or not

 

Same with Facebook ... & ... in my private life off-line ... = ... it sorts the sheep from the goats

 

Poor mental health runs in both sides of my family ... & ... my dear son has bad bouts of it as do I

 

Thank you all on the Community for not publicly 'shunning' me as has happened in my private life

I do not label myself ... but ... it is difficult from time to time 

*possum si vollo* *per ardua ad astra*



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Re: Living with "hidden" conditions

I had difficulting standing before I needed a cane to walk. I'd get disapproving looks on the bus, for example, if I took a seat meant for the disabled. Now that I do use a cane people rush to give me a seat. 

 

Just because we can't see it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Unforunately, people only sympathise with what they can see and assume if you don't use a cane or wheelchair you are 100% fit. From personal experience, I know that's not always the case.

 

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Re: Living with "hidden" conditions

There is of course the other side of that viewpoint. People are a peculiar species. The very first thing that people see and notice about me is my leg, r rather my lack of. What is it about people who treat you in a different way. I've had it all, the brilliant sympathetic nursing, the kind people in the street offering to push me up kerbs or slight inclines when in the wheelchair, the people who go out of their way to open doors and wait patiently for me to get on and off buses.

Now take all that away, people see me hobbling down the street with a stick and suddenly I'm invisible. No eye contact apart from their kids staring who's eyes never reach further up than my waist. You are instantly disabled and as such you automatically are somehow less intelligent and not worthy of conversation. Yes I also suffer from anxiety and depression, my body and my head are messed up but those are invisible disabilities. People aren't aware that those are the disabilities that stop you personally from wanting or being able to socialise as you once did.

So I'm not sure which is worse to be honest. I now have a label, a stigma. I feel enormous stress and pressure, like the roof is lowering, whichever room I go in. It's scary, I can live without a leg, many many people (some on here) are far worse off. Should I count my blessings? Maybe, but it's not easy.

Posts: 73,308
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Re: Living with "hidden" conditions

I was waiting for your response @jonsie  and you have absolutely nailed it.

In a wheelchair you are 'worthy' of sympathy. Hobbling with a stick generally means you are one of many who hobble with a stick.

 

I know you won't mind me saying that your depression is caused by many other issues and not just the loss of your leg. (not up to me to list them... so I won't)

 

There is a syndrome called altered body image, which affects the person who has lost a limb (as well as those who have lost a breast or wear a colostomy bag etc etc etc.

Generally it affects them more than the people who see or know of the disability.

However it can cause major mental health problems whilst they come to terms with the loss of whatever it is and the change to their body. 

 

Also many individuals don't want sympathy. They just don't want to be disabled. Physically or mentally. heart

 

 

*The Game Is On*