I know for a fact that if I had a traditional “physical disease,” with outwardly visible symptoms, people in my life would be more understanding. For some reason, crippling depression, complex PTSD, and chronic migraine that not only offers blinding pain but impaired cognitive function are “all in my head,” and I should be able to “get over it.”
My family would not be embarrassed or disappointed in me because of my illnesses. My boss and co-workers may not have accused me of “faking it to get out of work,” and maybe I’d still have my job. But I don’t have a traditional “visible disease,” so I must work harder to heal and overcome the stigma others, with no concept of my ailments, place upon me.