An invisible illness is a chronic condition that is not visible to an onlooker – thus the term “invisible illness.”
The Prevalence of Chronic Illnesses
Although we cannot see them, invisible illnesses are more common than you may think. The U.S. National Center for Health Statistics reports that chronic diseases affect approximately 133 million Americans, representing more than 40% of the total population of this country. A chronic disease is defined as a disease lasting three months or longer, and generally cannot be prevented by vaccines or cured by medication. Chronic illnesses often limit activity and require ongoing care.
Invisible Illness is Still Illness
An invisible illness is simply a chronic illness that you cannot observe just by looking at someone. Symptoms lie under the surface, including debilitating pain, hearing or vision impairments, fatigue, learning disabilities, and mental disorders. The severity of symptoms vary based on each individual, and may range from mild to severe. They can limit daily activities, taking away a person’s ability to enjoy their life as they desire.
The old adage that “you can’t judge a book by its cover” is very true. As calculated from the 2002 U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 96% of people who live with an illness have an illness that is invisible. These people generally do not use visible assistive equipment, and may not share information about their invisible illness for fear of labeling or stigma. When you don’t “look” sick, others may have a difficult time understanding that you are indeed ill and suffering from a very real medical condition.
Examples of Invisible Illnesses
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Lyme Disease
- Depression & Mental Illness
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Migraine Headaches
- Digestive Disorders
- Heart Conditions
For someone suffering from an invisible illness, treatment from a caring provider that understands the unique challenges you is of the utmost importance. Your provider needs to understand both the physical symptoms and emotional toll an invisible illness can take.
About Metropolitan Pain Consultants
Metropolitan Pain Consultants are interventional pain management physicians specializing in the treatment of back pain, neck pain, knee pain, and other joint pain in a compassionate and caring environment. We use state of the art equipment and treatment techniques to reduce or eliminate your pain so that you may work and live as you desire.
Our patient-first approach involves:
- Advancing your functional ability
- Optimizing your quality of life
- Improving your emotional well-being
We understand that your pain is different than anyone else’s, and so is our approach to pain management. We offer complete, individualized programs of advanced pain management techniques to maximize patient outcomes. We are confident that we can provide you with excellent pain management services and health care. Decreasing your pain and its impact on your personal and professional life is our first and foremost concern.