As someone living with arthritis, you’re well aware of the challenges. Everyday tasks, such as reaching for something on the top shelf, or even buttoning a shirt or blouse can be a struggle. Your sleep is disturbed and you’re finding it hard to work, or even to socialize. The physical, mental and emotional challenges are huge.
But, not only that, there’s also the fact that others don’t necessarily see that you are in pain, or that you’re extremely fatigued. If you had a broken bone, at least your injury and your pain would be evident. This is perhaps one of the most frustrating aspects of living with arthritis.
How having an invisible disease can make YOU feel invisible.
These are some of the common daily dilemmas facing those living with arthritis. “Arthritis is a difficult condition,” says Arthritis Ireland helpline volunteer, Margaret Curran. “It’s hard to diagnose and, of course, it doesn’t present the same symptoms every day, so sometimes you doubt and question yourself. It’s known as ‘the invisible disease’, and that can feel quite lonely.”
10 Steps to Feeling Less Invisible
Asking for help, signaling that you’re struggling and prioritising your own needs are an essential part of coping. Remember, having an invisible disease does not mean that YOU have to become invisible yourself. Follow our pointers for ways to not feel so alone with your condition:
Remember – just like cyclists, don't be invisible, be SEEN!
Although arthritis is ‘an invisible disease’, you don’t have to be. You deserve to be seen and to be heard, and to live the very best life you possibly can.