Invisible Disabilities – Not all disabilities are visible, you might not be able to see that someone is suffering or dealing with challenges.
Although a lot more needs to be done to raise awareness of disabilities in this country, the Paralympics were more popular than ever following on from a successful 2012 London games with more people watching and more tickets being sold.
As the Paralympics showed, not all disabilities are visible and people tend to be more sympathetic towards an illness or disability they can see rather than something they can’t see as they don’t understand it. Just because you can’t see a wheelchair or a hearing aid doesn’t mean that someone isn’t having difficulties with things that we take for granted.
a huge obstacle to overcome with 1 in 4 adults being diagnosed with a mental illness, and more worrying 1 in 5 children aged 5-16 have a diagnosed mental health problem in the UK. (1)
I see more and more children/young adults suffering from
stress and anxiety due to the amount of pressure they are
under from school, exams, social media and bullying. These
are the lucky ones who have a chance to fix the underlying
cause contributing to their stress but so many suffer in
silence and carry this burden round for years to come.
People need our understanding and support on this
condition that can be debilitating, not our pity.
Along with mental health there are a numerous other
conditions that can be classed as ‘invisible disabilities’ such as brain injuries, cancer, ME, epilepsy,
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome , Fibromyalgia, Crohn’s Disease etc and learning disorders among many others. We are all too quick to tut at someone who parks in a disabled parking space or uses a disabled
toilet because we don’t think they look ill or we can’t see a wheelchair or a mobility aid, rather than
taking a moment to trust they are legitimately needing this support, empathise with them and treat
them with kindness.
Unfortunately, a thoughtless comment can cause the
person affected to feel that they have to explain themselves
to justify their reason for using the disabled facilities or worse
still stops them from wanting to go out at all, and make them
feel more anxious. They have enough to deal with in everyday
life let alone making them feel uncomfortable as well.
We often still feel awkward and unsure round people
with disabilities regardless of whether we can see it or not which
is shameful. Everyone deserves to be treated with kindness
and respect and it is vital to understand rather than pity.
An important point noted was that ‘All people are born equal in freedom and dignity’ (2). We should
ensure all people feel free to be themselves. After all, all individuals are different and different is great!
Our uniqueness is what makes us ourselves, and how we deal with these differences is what can make
us grow and develop into the best versions of ourselves.
For help with dealing with stress, anxiety and depression as well as helping with brain development training please click here mind-bodywellness.co.uk