17 Photos That Reveal What Needs to Be Said During Dysautonomia Awareness Month


During the month of October, the color pink  fills the stores for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is amazing, but there is another awareness color people should be seeing, too, and that’s turquoise. Turquoise is the color for dysautonomia awareness, and October is Dysautonomia Awareness Month.

The sad truth is, there aren’t a lot of people who know about it, or even what it is, and what’s even sadder is that many doctors aren’t even taught much about it in medical school, so the average time it takes to get diagnosed is six years. So many people struggling to get a diagnosis are told nothing is wrong with them and because of that they start to lose hope and begin to doubt themselves. They’re severely ill but doctors don’t listen. I went through this, and even after my diagnosis of postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) I still go through this from time to time. We need more awareness so people can get a diagnosis faster and so doctors can understand sometimes the problem isn’t always visible right away. Dysautonomia has taken so much away from my life and I’ve had no choice but to change and try to adapt to my new limitations, but it’s hard and I’d be lying if I said that it wasn’t. It’s so isolating when you’re battling an illness that most people don’t even know or understand, including doctors. 

I don’t want anyone to lose hope or feel alone because of this, though. We are all in this together and I have hope that one day everyone will know what dysautonomia is, and I have hope that one day there will be a cure. In my darkest moments, my therapist used the word “hope” and that word has had the biggest impact on my life, because as long as I’m still here, breathing and fighting, there is hope. That is what inspired me to do this project — to show others that there is always hope.

For more information about dysautonomia and POTS please visit The Dysautonomia Project.

Thank you to my two friends Killian and Allison for helping me bring this idea to life and for inspiring me to think outside the box.

woman holding up sign that says october is dysautonomia awareness month and we want you to know
A woman holds a sign that says, “October is Dysautonomia Awareness Month and we want you to know…”
a woman holds a sign that says dysautonomia (dys-auto-no-mia) a malfunction of the autonomic nervous system, which controls heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, breathing, temperature, regulation, etc..."
A woman holds a sign that says, “Dysautonomia (dys-auto-no-mia) a malfunction of the autonomic nervous system, which controls heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, breathing, temperature, regulation, etc…”
a woman holds a sign that says the average time to get a dysautonomia diagnosis is currently 6 years
A woman holds a sign that says, “The average time to get a dysautonomia diagnosis is currently six years.”
woman holds a sign that says the average time to get a dysautonomia diagnosis is currently six years
A woman holds a sign that says, “The average time to get a dysautonomia diagnosis is currently six years.”
a woman sits on the ground holding a sign that says dysautonomia is not rare. over 70 million worldwide live with various forms of dysautonomia
A woman sits on the ground holding a sign that says, “Dysautonomia is not rare. Over 70 million worldwide live with various forms of dysautonomia.”
a woman sits on the ground getting her photo taken holding sign that says there is no cure for dysautonomia
A woman sits on the ground getting her photo taken while holding sign that says, “There is no cure for dysautonomia.”
a hand holding a sign that says a person with dysautonmia might not look sick on the outside, but can be very unwell on the inside. - the dysautonomia project
A hand holds a sign that says, “‘A person with dysautonomia might not look sick on the outside, but can be very unwell on the inside.’” — The Dysautonomia Project
a woman holds a sign that says invisible illnesses increase the risk of anxiety and depression
A woman holds a sign that says, “Invisible illnesses increase the risk of anxiety and depression.”
a woman holds a sign that says dysautonomia is real! i never knew how strong i was until being strong as my only choice
A woman holds a sign that says, “Dysautonomia is real! I never knew how strong I was until being strong was my only choice.”
a hand holds a sign that says postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (pots) is a form of dysautonomia
A hand holds a sign that says, “Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is a form of dysautonomia.”
hand holds a sign that says pots is more common than multiple sclerosis and parkinsons disease, but most do not know about it
A hand holds a sign that says, “POTS is more common than multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease, but most do not know about it.”
woman holds a sign that says pots symptoms include tachycardia, fainting, nausea, severe GI distress, shaking, inability to stand and many more
A woman holds a sign that says, “POTS symptoms include tachycardia, fainting, nausea, severe GI distress, shaking, inability to stand and many more.”
a woman holds a sign that says 25 percent of people with pots become so disable that they can't work or go to school
A woman holds a sign that says, “25 percent of people with POTS become so disabled that they can’t work or go to school.”
woman holds a sign that says many patients are told it's all in your head and not believed prior to diagnosis
A woman holds a sign that says, “Many patients are told it’s all in your head and not believed prior to diagnosis.”
woman holds a sign that says researchers compare the disability seen in pots to those with congestive heart failure
A woman holds a sign that says, “Researchers compare the disability seen in POTS to those with congestive heart failure.”
two hands hold a sign that says you are not alone
Two hands hold a sign that says, “You are not alone.”
two women hold a sign that says will you join us in our fight to raise more awareness
Two women hold a sign that says, “Will you join us in our fight to raise more awareness?”
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