Invisible Disabilities and Why They Are Important


Makayla Adam

A lot of people in the world presume everybody to be just like everyone else, but everyone is different in a multitude of ways. It is important to be aware of these differences in order to treat everyone with the utmost respect. One of these differences are invisible disabilities.

First off, what is an invisible disability? An invisible disability consists of, physical, mental, and or neurological condition that is not seen with the eye.  These disabilities can limit an individual, affecting their ability to function, do certain activities, dilute or increase other senses, and affect mobility, although not all people with an invisible disability are disabled.

Unfortunately, people have misconceptions about invisible disabilities leading to judgment, harassment, and false interpretations.

What are some invisible disabilities? Some examples of invisible disabilities are seizures, fainting, PTSD, anxiety, panic disorders, POTS, autism, blindness, deafness, depression, ADHD, dyslexia, allergies, and many more. These can create severe changes to the body and brain. These changes can lead to the inability to do certain activities that are considered easy for those without these disabilities.

Under the ADA law (Americans with Disabilities Act), an individual with a disability is a person who “has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.”

Now you know that even if you can’t see a disability doesn’t mean there isn’t one present. One thing to remember is that even if someone has a disability does not mean they are any less than anyone else.

When people think of a disability, they normally think of someone confined to a wheelchair or cane, but many rely on medication, therapy, and service animals. Just because someone isn’t paralyzed from the waist down, doesn’t mean that they don’t struggle with a disability.

You may know a person who is suffering from an invisible disability. And no, they aren’t faking it. These things are real and actually happen to people, disabling them from doing all sorts of tasks that most people take for granted.

When dealing with those who have invisible disabilities, we must remain respectful, not judge or assume. It is important to make sure that all disabled individuals feel valid, because they are. If we treated everybody equally, then those with disabilities would not have to worry about living in a world where they are treated poorly, and no one else would have to either.