What Its Like To Live With An Invisible Illness

Living with an invisible illness is hard, especially on a college campus. You are meeting so many new people that don’t know anything about you.  An invisible illness is something that people struggle with internally, meaning that you can’t see it. There are many types of invisible illnesses but I personally struggle with Type One diabetes and anxiety. Having Type One doesn’t stop me from me living my life to the fullest every day, but it makes it a little harder compared to people who don’t have it. My pancreas doesn’t work anymore, so I have to wear an insulin pump to give myself insulin every time I eat carbs. It can be annoying and its full-time job.

What I wish people would know about invisible illness is that we look fine externally but internally we are struggling. Since you can’t see it, you don’t know what the person is going through. Sometimes I find myself assuming that other people know about me and my condition and that they can sympathize with me. Most of the time it’s not the case, because if you look at me I look like a completely healthy 18-year-old.

When I tell people I have diabetes they usually say, ‘you’re not fat’ or ‘you don’t look diabetic’. So I tell them that Type One is an autoimmune disease and I did nothing in my diet or lifestyle to cause it. 

More people nowadays are becoming more candid with their mental and physical health so it is easier to talk about, which is good for people like me so there is less of a stigma. My biggest struggle though is my anxiety. I have had anxiety my whole life and have been on and off medications. I get anxious over the smallest things and will obsess over it for a while. 

With our generation, we are becoming more sympathetic to those with illnesses. I hope we can be more open and accepting of others that don’t feel normal because of their invisible limitations.