What Beauty Hides – My Story of Stigma With Chronic Illness

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Article originally published by the-clean-method.com on October 3rd, 2017


 

September is Pain Awareness Month, and it is a very important time for those of us living with invisible illness. What is invisible illness? It is a condition that shows little or no outward signs, thereby rendering it invisible to others.

 

Because of this invisibility, it is often very difficult, if not impossible, for those of us living with chronic illnesses to be taken seriously.

 

After all, we look healthy and attractive, so what could be wrong?

 

Let me tell you what beauty hides, and why everyone should be aware of invisible illness.

 

The Sobering Statistics of Chronic Pain

 

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCI), nearly 50 million American adults have significant chronic pain or severe pain.

 

I Told You I Was Sick – My Story

 

I grew up in the 1980s, where there was a very clear line between what was considered “healthy” and what was considered “sick”. If you were sick, you were bedridden, had an obvious mobility device, or you were unable to see, hear, or speak.

 

If you weren’t sick, you were everybody else.

 

That’s how it was. Cut and dry. Black and white.

 

When I started having chronic stomach pain, uncontrollable diarrhea, frequent ear, nose, and throat infections, muscle pain, fatigue, and learning disabilities at the age of seven, you would think I would be considered sick enough to be taken seriously.

 

Well, I was. That is until the doctors could find nothing wrong with me. The conclusion that followed? I was making it all up in my head to get attention.

 

From then on, any health complaint I made was met with suspicion, anger, and even punishment. I was still taken to doctors regularly, but, I didn’t test positive for anything, so it only cemented the idea that my illnesses were somehow figments of my imagination.

 

Head to The-Clean-Method.com to continue reading…




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About Author: Jaime A. Heidel

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