Invisible Illness: Meaning & Types

We often say that every person has their battles to fight. Globally, many people suffer from more than one disease but are not treated even once in their lifetime. A person may seem normal in their day-to-day life and healthy but have a serious illness along with him. These people usually get ignored as they do not show any signs or symptoms of illness. People see what they believe; hence, invisible illness is rising gradually. People who go through such diseases are often misunderstood and feel lonely as they cannot project their sickness due to emotional and mental reasons. With time these people become socially isolated and cannot present their problems to their family or friends. Keeping their secretive illness to themselves is hard; one never knows what is happening in the person's background when they are all alone. Also, several diseases are not visible from the outside, and even the people who possess them to come to know about them much later as it shows no physical symptom.

Meaning of Invisible Illness

Invisible illness is an issue or condition that cannot be seen or observed by others as it shows no physical or mental signs. The reason to have such type of illness is a lack of showing signs by the person themselves for their reason, or the disease is not recognizable even by the doctors in its initial stage. Slowly the illness tends to expand, and it is too late to cure it. It can also be any major chronic disease or mental and emotional illness. People often misconceive people who have such diseases as lazy and demotivated. People having such illness may show responses like a sudden change in lifestyle like being introverted, unable to make conversation in particular topics, etc. Even sometimes, they are diagnosed with a different chronic disease. All such cases leave the person alone, and it is difficult for them to live a happy, balanced life. One has to understand them and believe in what one wishes to share.

Misconceptions Related

A person may seem fit and fine by looking at them, which they are not. However, some of their condition may increase if they are too stressed about their condition and end up losing their sleep. The person's illness is not psychological but may contribute to increasing it. When a person is relaxed, there is always scope for improvement. Distraction from their diseases is necessary, but a person observing them should not perceive them as completely healthy. When a person is an introvert, there is some reason why he is choosing that way of living which must not be ignored

Types Diagnosed

To better one's body condition, one must record even the slightest changes happening in their body. Several diseases later came out to be recognized as Invincible illnesses. Arthritis is when a person feels enormous pain as the immune system attacks the parts of bones and joints. High fevers, headaches, vomiting, chronic fatigue, higher blood sugar levels, nausea, emotional and mental fatigue, and anxiety. Along with these conditions, they may also have serious chronic diseases like heart conditions, cancer, depression, and infertility, which they cannot find out or tell their doctor and family members.

Challenges Faced

First, the medical specialist cannot diagnose certain diseases that eventually end up in major chronic pain and symptoms. Along with all their medication conditions, people also face mental frustration, depression, and embarrassment. If a person is diagnosed with such an illness at a younger age, it will lead him into isolation and lack interest in many activities. In the case of adults, being diagnosed with such a disease may affect their family, personnel, and professional life. Friends and family must understand the condition and observe the person showing the difference in behavior. Also, the person should not hesitate to share his condition with his family, friends, and doctors. Sometimes their close ones do not even bother and are not ready to accept that a person is going through such a condition, saying they are too young or look just fine. People often stereotype the person with those illnesses, and those with such conditions must constantly prove that they are not well

Other Types of Invisible Disabilities

Several disorders can cause chronic pain. Back difficulties, bone illness, physical injuries, and a variety of other factors may be among them. People who do not understand the victim's unique medical condition may not detect chronic pain.

Chronic fatigue

This handicap describes someone who is continually fatigued. This may be incredibly debilitating and impact all parts of a person's daily life.

Mental illness

Many mental diseases are eligible for disability payments. Depression, attention deficit disorder, schizophrenia, agoraphobia, and many other conditions are examples. These disorders can also be completely incapacitating for the afflicted, making completing daily duties difficult, if not impossible.

Prolonged dizziness

Often connected with inner ear issues, chronic dizziness can lead to walking, driving, working, sleeping, and other routine actions all being affected. People with mental disorders constitute a sizable proportion of the handicapped population. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 applies to them. Chronic ailments such as renal failure, diabetes, and sleep deprivation are examples of invisible disabilities. Disturbances if the illnesses considerably hinder regular everyday activities. If a medical condition exists, a disease that does not interfere with typical activities is not considered a handicap.

Women Living with Chronic Illness

Women are known to be more afflicted by invisible chronic diseases than males. Women with invisible chronic illnesses are continually judged and questioned about whether their sickness is real or fictitious. Furthermore, women are frequently labeled psychiatrically, which is now the current form of female hysteria. According to research, when women disclose their invisible chronic disease to multiple organizations, they encounter stigma, humiliation, blame, and credibility challenges. Women of color with invisible impairments and chronic diseases in higher education had not been researched. The bulk of participants in most studies on this issue has been middle-class white women. This is concerning since African American women are more likely than any other female ethnic group to be impacted by Lupus. Women in patriarchal culture are frequently perceived as caretakers rather than cared for.

Disability is an explicitly distinctive embodied reality and a motif for disenfranchisement in a culture that exclusively values the white, male 'able' body as the neutral and normative self. The study of disabilities has examined how some people with disabilities reclaim, redefine, and reinterpret their identities outside the prevailing ableist paradigm. "What one knows about disability, femaleness, and identity is constantly unwound and unwoven." Identity and the capacity to self-identify as handicapped may be required for persons living with an episodic or progressive chronic disease.


A person may seem different on the outside but may be undergoing a major illness at a very personal level. Such type of illness can be formed because of two major factors: when the doctors cannot diagnose it, our family and friend cannot find out about their illness. Another is when the person going through it wishes not to covey their problem due to emotional, mental, or personal reasons. They must be understood and listened to. With proper steps taken by the medical side and family, invisible illness issues can be solved.