What is an “invisible disability?”
“Invisible disability” is pretty much what it sounds like: a disability that may not be obvious to the casual observer, but one that nevertheless impacts the person who has it in a number of ways—-often to the point of impacting the daily life of the afflicted person. “Invisible disability” is most often used to describe conditions like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, the early stages of MS, Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), Lupus, Epilepsy, sleep disorders, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and chronic pain. The term is also used to describe mental health conditions that adversely impact one’s daily life and functioning. Often, people with invisible disabilities do not use “conventional” markers of disability, such as a cane, wheelchair or assistance animal. Because invisible disabilities are not easily discernable to the casual observer, many of these disabilities are not taken seriously by many able-bodied people, or even thought of as disabling conditions.