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understanding invisible disabilities

When people hear or read the world disability they inevitably imagine a wheelchair or crutches. These outwardly visable disabilities are easy to spot and most people are extremely compassionate and accommodating, but what about someone who has a hidden disability? Are you quick to judge that someone is taking a spot they shouldn't be or receiving benefits that aren't due? It can be a challenge since many of us are wired to assume people are taking advantage of others but that isn't always the case.

While this is understandable it can actually be surprisingly harmful. Not all disabilities are quite so obvious as those that require a wheelchair, yet they are by no means any less debilitating and damaging.  Many of us are ignorant of just how broad the scope of disability is and how many disabilities are invisible to the untrained eye. As such we may not be able to give friends, relatives or loved ones the proper care and support when they find themselves afflicted with a less than visible disability. Worse still we may not even recognize these disabilities for what we are when we manifest symptoms and may fail to get the help that we need before the condition is exacerbated.

Here we’ll look at just a few of the most common and less than obvious disabilities and how you can help someone to get the help and support they need…


Depression affects more than 300 million people around the world and yet it still doesn’t get the recognition it deserves among the unknowing masses. Only 40% of recorded workers would tell their boss about any issues they were facing with depression because they are worried that their employers would not take the condition seriously or because they worry that it will somehow impede their career. If you or someone you know suffers from depression in silence, it can only help to be honest and open and pursue the cognitive or pharmaceutical treatment that’s necessary for recovery.

Chronic fatigue

Chronic fatigue is a tragically misunderstood condition that is hard to diagnose and even harder to treat. Worse still, those who experience it face sneering derision from those who don’t understand the condition and write them off as lazy or unfit. Unlike regular fatigue, chronic fatigue is not alleviated by rest and other symptoms may include memory loss and unexplained muscle or joint pain. If left untreated it can also lead to depression and make living a normal life seem close to impossible. As such it’s important to get diagnosis and treatment as quickly as possible.

Substance issues

Issues with substances and addiction are genuine and debilitating mental health issues which are classed as disabilities. Yet many refuse to get the help they need either because of shame and embarrassment or because they are in the throes of addiction itself. Fortunately there are a lot of understanding people out there from lawyers like Darras Law who can help you to get the disability insurance claim you deserve to free and insurance covered addiction treatment centres. Habit and shame shouldn’t keep you or the ones you love from the help they deserve.



One could shrug off anxiety as a symptom of the hectic pace of modern living. Yet while we certainly live in stressful times, there’s a difference between the everyday anxiety that many of us feel and anxiety that has become so crippling that it’s a legitimate disability. Like depression, anxiety needs to be properly diagnosed and treated and this can only happen when you admit that your condition has begun to negatively impact upon your life and resolve to get the help you need.

When you know the hidden faces of disability, you’re much better positioned to help those affected.