Mind-bending Portraits Expose Invisible Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis


How do you raise awareness about a disease that many people cannot see? You make them see it.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a potentially debilitating autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spine. Symptoms like loss of muscle movement or blindness can be noticeable to onlookers. But others — like dizziness, fatigue and numbness — can go under the radar.

So how do you raise awareness about an invisible disease? You take off its invisibility cloak. That’s what SeeingMS, a photography project, is doing with its photo series (below) that visualizes MS’ invisible symptoms to help people understand what MS patients go through each day. The project began with nine photographers who photographed symptoms inspired by people with MS. It then grew into an app, where any user could upload a photo depicting their symptom.

View the entire series on the SeeingMS website and go behind the scenes in the video at the bottom. Below are just a few of MS’ invisible symptoms.

Blurred Vision
Photograph by Toby Burrows, inspired by Emma Giunti’s symptom

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Pain
Photographed by Garth Oriander, inspired by Stephen Papadopoulo’s symptom

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Hot and Cold
Photographed by Jamie MacFadyen, inspired by Dimitri Cachia’s symptom

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Spasticity
Photographed by Matt Hoyle, inspired by Tim Ferguson’s symptom

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Dizziness
Photographed by Louis Petruccelli, inspired by Lyn Petruccelli’s symptom

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Fatigue
Photographed by Juliet Taylor, inspired by Darcy McCann’s symptom

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