This is how I explain my Invisible Illness
An invisible illness is defined as any medical conditional that isn’t easily visible to others. This includes chronic physical conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, fibromyalgia, and Functional Neurological Disorder, which is what I have. It also includes mental illnesses. As you appear to be fine on the outside, people don’t understand you are really ill. This leads to frustration from the person ill and those around them. Add to this, my symptoms vary in their severity from day, week or month. Someone might see me “looking fine” so not understand why I then have cancel plans, for example. So this is how I explain my invisible illness and why.
First of all, I’d like to share an extract from a previous blog post, The Answer to My Weird and Wonderful Symptoms
Sitting back in the chair by her desk, the neurologist told me that the condition is quite common and she sees it a lot. I have a condition called Functional Neurological Disorder. She described it like my brain has had a crash. If the human brain is like a computer, and the software is thoughts, feelings, emotions and behaviour one or a number of the programs /software has crashed-like a computer crashing. So what I had to do was repair that crash by retraining my brain in the way it functions. She asked me if I suffered from Anxiety or Depression, feeling stressed. I joked that I was planning a wedding so that’s stressful. That’s all I could think of. She provided me with a website to research more about the condition and said that she’ll be writing to my GP to suggest that I am referred for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. And that was that.
If you would like to read more about my journey with FND-all the articles so far are here. But as you can see I was given very little support. So I started teaching myself and helping to educate others to.
I give the computer analogy
A computer crashing is something many people can relate to and the explanation, as detailed above.
I give examples
I give examples of triggers, symptoms and what can help me recover. Knowledge is power, as they say and I have found that the more the condition is explained to someone, the more they understand.
Spoon theory is perhaps the best-known creative response to “but you don’t look sick.” Spoon theory originated in a metaphor Christine Miserandino came up with during a conversation she had with a friend trying to explain how she felt. You can read her telling here,
If you’ve just been diagnosed, I know what you that feels like. I’ve been there and I know it is confusing. On the one hand, it is a relief because you have a diagnosis and there is a name for it. However on the other hand, you are given (in most cases) very little support and you might not know where to start. That’s why I started this blog. I want to be able to help you come to terms with and accept your diagnosis, using my own experience.
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