Promotional images of two subscription boxes for people living with chronic illnesses

These Subscription Boxes Are Perfect for Those With Chronic or Mental Illnesses


Sometimes life gets hectic: Balancing work, family, friends and more, while immensely rewarding, can be especially draining if you have a chronic or mental illness. At times like these, it is important to treat yourself with kindness, whether that’s watching your favorite show on Netflix or ordering a subscription box.

We rounded up seven of our favorite subscription boxes geared towards those living with a chronic condition or mental illness. Each box is meant to remind you that it’s okay put you and your health first. And if these options are out of your price range, check out our article on affordable self-care.

1. Buddy Box

buddy box open with yellow book

Distributed by Blurt, a U.K. nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding of depression, Buddy Box is a described as “a hug in a box.” Each BuddyBox contains at least five products to nourish, inspire and encourage self-care. Items include books, snacks, colorful prints and more.

The contents of each BuddyBox varies from month to month and remains a secret until the box is opened.

Price: $27.78 per month.

2. ChronicALLY Box

Chronic ally box with books and makeup

Ally Godley, who was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome in 2011, started ChronicALLY Box to help others with chronic illness live easier lives. “The products are meant to save you energy on health and beauty tasks that can be tiring,” Godley previously told The Mighty. “For example, dry shampoo delivered to your doorstep, so you don’t have to wash your hair as often. You also save energy by not having to make a trip to the mall.”

Each box contains three to six full-sized health and beauty products. ChronicALLY also accommodates for allergies on its order form to ensure each customer receives safe surprises.

Price: $43.95 per month. 

3. Spoonie Essentials Box

spoonie essentials box with diary, popcorn, and braccelets

Brittani, who lives with Crohn’s disease, lupus, DRESS syndrome, and colon cancer, created the Spoonie Essentials Box to bring visibility to chronic illnesses and provide those living with a chronic condition things they wouldn’t ordinarily buy for themselves. The Spoonie Essentials Box also seeks to educate the world about chronic illness as well as help family and friends understand what living with a condition is like.

Boxes come in themed care packages, like “Naps, Netflix, and Pills,” “Nama-stay-in-bed,” “Painsomnia” and “Self-Love isn’t Selfish.” Each package has DIY projects, healthy snacks and tokens of inspiration.

Price: $39.99 per month. 

4. calmbox

calmbox containing tea, food, and prints

Every calmbox includes five to eight items including inspiring books, music, tea, candles, aromatic herbs, motivational reminders, stress relievers and more. In addition to ordering a box for yourself, calmbox also allows you to gift a box to somebody else as a thoughtful surprise.

Price $35.oo per month. 

5. Bloom Beautifully Box

Beach themed box containing tote, body spray, and book

Tara Pringle Jefferson created this self-care box because she knows how hard it can be to focus on yourself when work and family demand your attention. She wants each box to serve as an exhale of relief and a reminder to take time and care for yourself.

Each box contains five to six self-care items such as bath bombs, candles, totes, teas and quote stickers.

Price: $39.00 per month. 

6. Be Brave Box

be brave box containing face mask, coloring book,pins
Taylor Nadraszky founded Be Brave Box when she was just a teenager. After being diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease in 2011, she received a kidney transplant from her dad in 2015. Because her immune system was suppressed, Nadraszky had to stay in her home for six weeks, during which time she began Be Brave Box.

“I have always loved subscription boxes,” Nadraszky previously told The Mighty. “It always made me happy to have surprises come in the mail… I thought that there should be a subscription box specifically for people with chronic illness to brighten our days and have something fun come directly to us when we are too sick or tired to go out.”

Be Brave Box is a bi-monthly subscription. Contents include wristbands, pins, coloring books and more.

Price: $27.00 CAD per box, ships to the U.S. and internationally.  

7. Caring Crate

crate with blue confetti,buddha board, and soaps

Founder Janelle Martel has channeled her passion for psychology and self-care to craft boxes perfect for those living with a chronic illness or mental health issues.

Contents include four to five full-sized health and wellness-related products such as soaps, intention cards and cookie kits.

Price: $39.95 per month.

Have a subscription box you love? Let us know in the comments below. 


These Subscription Boxes Are Perfect for Those With Chronic or Mental Illnesses

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doctor holding a patient's hands

We Need More Doctors Who Treat the Person, Not the Condition


For so many people with depression, anxiety and chronic illness, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) for psychiatry, or International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) for general medicine, is a sort of an unwelcome companion in every physician’s office. They are big books that list every psychiatric or medical diagnoses (and code for it) along with the diagnostic criteria. Some doctors seem to practically live in those pages – using them like a checklist, playing a game of “find the condition.” The first time I really understood what it meant for a doctor to “practice medicine” was the half hour my cardiologist spent when he first met me, stethoscope in hand, ICD nowhere to be found. He didn’t need to go rifling through the pages of some how-to guide to medicine – he knew what he was doing, without a checklist. I didn’t realize how lucky I was that my mental health was being treated by equally savvy MDs until a few years ago, when my new psychiatrist gave me the greatest reassurance I have ever heard.

My first impressions of him were something along the lines of “Oh great, this guy is so one of those ‘everything by the book’ doctors.” I had grown up for a decade with a psychiatrist who tended to think outside the box – and that is where most of my psychiatric successes came from. When my new doctor wanted to do “genetic testing” to see what medications might be best for me, it was because I had been through 10 years of trial and error already, and had a high degree of failures. One medication in particular however had worked from day one – and I was afraid his fancy tests might determine I shouldn’t be on it. So, in an unusually rude tone of voice, I asked him, “Well, what if the tests say I should not be on what I’m on, even though it is the only thing that has ever worked?!” He sat his pen down and looked at me for a second, then in the calmest, most understanding voice possible he told me, “Well, I treat the person. Not the condition. Not the tests results. So if you know it works for you, I’m not worried about a piece of paper telling me otherwise.”

 

If there was an appropriate response, I didn’t have it. I just kind of nodded. I was honestly rather speechless. Doctors live and die by pieces of paper. Some don’t even seem to pull their noses out of the DSM or ICD long enough catch your name. That’s what I expected. Another “by the book” MD with no sense of creativity, who was going to march me down a line of “standard therapeutic treatments” no matter what I said. My reactions to medications tend to vary wildly, and it is always highly unpredictable. I rarely, if ever, respond in a manner similar to most people. And often if something doesn’t work, it’s not just ineffective – it is dangerous.

It took almost a year for me to finally feel confident that he meant what he said. I wasn’t just a number or a set of symptoms. No magic – just blind faith, trial and error and courage. That courage, however, doesn’t come from me. I’ve learned to see past his intelligence and accept my psychiatrist is doing this the hard way. No checklists, no guidance, no step-by-step recipe for how to fix me. He’s going through a lot more trouble than he is under any obligation to. It takes courage to say, “Forget the manual, focus on the patient.” We all wish our doctors would do it more often – but think about the bravery of forgoing the holy grail of help, and trying to save someone with nothing more than your experience and intuition.

The next time a doctor takes the time to listen to what you say, and truly evaluate you as a person, not a condition – tell them thanks. It’s not very common these days, and it’s something I hope I never take for granted.

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Thinkstock photo via megaflopp.

photo of woman dressed up next to photo of woman with a walker

Would You Date Someone With a Chronic Illness?


Would you be my boyfriend? No, really. I’m 28, a graduate student at a prestigious university, for all intents and purposes I look like I’m in amazing shape, I’m well-spoken, I’m kind, I have an entrepreneurial spirit, I’m loving, I want a family, I have a huge heart and I love my family and friends. But, ugh – well, I have a chronic-illness. OK, maybe four (yes, four) chronic illnesses. Does that make me any less appealing to you? Do you now want to run for the hills? Or would you be my boyfriend?

photo of woman dressed up next to photo of woman with a walker

Would you be able to handle the constant visits to the doctor’s office? Can you remember my triggers? What about the things I’m deathly allergic to? You think you could hold my hand when I walk up large flights of stairs? I have ataxia so sometimes my legs convulse uncontrollably and I can barely stand. How’s your gag reflex? Like, if I throw up, will you throw up? Because I throw up at least once a day. How about: how pissed would you be that I just threw up your hard-earned money or be mad we had to eat at a restaurant that accommodates my limited diet? Ha ha, you laugh, but it’s my reality.

What about holding me at night while my body convulses? Would you hold me tighter or just sleep at your house instead? What about the constant threat of life or death, the responsibility of my life? A split-second of hesitation and my life is on you. Would you do it? No, I mean, could you do it?

 

I don’t mean any of this rhetorically. Actually, I mean it quite literally. A few weeks ago I went on a “blind date” and it hit me: love, loyalty and respect are all novelties I respect and all, but my significant other has to do a whole lot more than just love me. Obviously love matters to me, but I also realized just how much I would need to lean on my person. In between his incessant desire to marry me and make beautiful mixed babies, I found myself not questioning his ability to be a father, husband or financial provider for my future beautiful babies. I wanted to know if he could take care of me if – no, when – the time comes.

Every relationship takes work. Especially the romantic sort of relationships. The cliche “marriage is work” is a cliche for a reason – it’s true. While I’m more than willing to do the work associated with a typical relationship, how fair is it to ask someone to do the work associated with chronic illness on top of the regular woes? It seems unfair. Unfair that the babies will never be – well, they say I’m unlikely to be able to carry them. Unfair that my energy levels temper my desire to interact with people or go out on dates in public. Unfair that my sexual desire is barely existent. Unfair stress induces flares so I’m reluctant to engage in conversations and situations I know will stress me (relationship arguments). Unfair that my medical debt could purchase oceanfront property anywhere and that’s as of right now. Unfair that our relationship could potentially be more about me than us, because at the end of the day, my life is always in the balance. 

So would you be my boyfriend? Would you be the significant other of a chronically ill person, having met them while sick? I guess it’s easy to make a case for someone you already knew. But honestly, I don’t know what a reasonable response to that question is, given the great cost. But what I do know, and what anyone out there with a chronic or serious illness should know, is there are millions of people in the world thriving in relationships with significant others fighting a chronic (or serious) illness.

Typing this, thinking about this, asking myself this, I came to really see agape love in the world around me. It gave me hope. It should give you hope. You will find love – there is someone out there for you. Be patient with the universe. But remember when you have a burning desire in your heart for something, the universe has no choice but to enact the law of attraction and evoke reciprocity. So I have hope – hope not for a boyfriend, but hope in humanity. There are people in this world who have chosen to love someone unconditionally, to be there for better or for worse and to allow that love to be enough to want to be there, to really be there.

I mean, even I met someone who recently told me my cancer, Crohn’s disease, lupus and DRESS syndrome don’t scare him because everyone gets sick and everyone needs someone to help them through hard times. I literally didn’t even know how to respond because I hadn’t received that kind of acceptance and commitment to being in the right with me. Usually guys would freak and allow the overwhelming harsh reality of my condition deter them from wanting to invest in me as a person. So far –we’ll call him Prince Charming – Prince Charming has showed up to help me pack care packages, held me as I began to fall apart emotionally over my health concerns and has made me remember I am more than my illness. I am human too. Illness or not, I deserve to be loved and give love in return, just as much as every one of you.

Never forget that.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Woman laying on waiting room seats in the hospital.

Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield Will Charge Members for Non-Emergency-Related Trips to the ER


If you are someone who lives with a chronic illness or disability, it’s likely you’ve visited the emergency room for issues relating to your condition. Trips to the ER are usually designated for the worst flares or ones that occur in the middle of the night when your doctor is unavailable — but what constitutes an emergency and whose job is it to decide?

If you have Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield and live in Georgia, Missouri or Kentucky, a new insurance policy might affect your decision to visit the ER. According to NBC News, starting July 1, Anthem members will be responsible for the cost of their ER visit if the trip was not an emergency.

“Save the ER for emergencies — or cover the cost,” a letter sent to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia members, obtained by NBC News, states. “[S]tarting July 1, 2017, you’ll be responsible for ER costs when it’s NOT an emergency. That way, we can all help make sure the ER’s available for people who really are having emergencies.”

In its letter, Anthem defines an emergency as:

A medical or behavioral health condition of recent onset and sufficient severity, including but not limited to, severe pain, that would lead a prudent layperson, possessing an average knowledge of medicine and health, to believe that his or her condition, sickness, or injury is of such a nature that not getting immediate medical care could result in: (a) placing the patient’s health or the health of another person in serious danger or, for a pregnant woman, placing the woman’s health or the health of her unborn child in serious danger; (b) serious impairment to bodily functions; or (c) serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part. Such conditions include but are not limited to, chest pain, stroke, poisoning, serious breathing problems, unconsciousness, severe burns or cuts, uncontrolled bleeding, or seizures and such other acute conditions as may be determined to be Emergencies by us.

A spokesperson for Anthem told NBC News its policy is designed to prevent people from abusing emergency rooms: “What we are really trying to do is make sure that people are seeing their doctors first.” However, according to its letter, whether or not your visit was an emergency is ultimately up to the insurance company to decide. If they feel it’s not an emergency, you may be stuck with the bill.

A spokesperson for Anthem in Georgia told the Los Angeles Times the policy does not affect children under the age of 14, visits made on a Sunday or holiday, and people who lack a nearby urgent care center (within 15 miles). “Symptoms of potentially more serious conditions, such as chest pains, could be seen at the ER even if they turn out to be indigestion,” Anthem’s representative said. Rather than have people visit the ER, Georgia’s Anthem coverage is hoping to reroute patients using telemedicine and urgent care centers.

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) says Anthem’s new policy is not only bad for medicine, it’s illegal. “[M]aking subscribers pay for any emergency department visit that turns out not to be an emergency, violates the ‘prudent layperson’ standard, which is codified in federal law, including the Affordable Care Act. It’s also law in more than 30 states,” the group wrote in a statement.

Forcing people to triage and diagnose themselves defeats the purpose of emergency care. “If patients think they have the symptoms of a medical emergency, they should seek emergency care immediately,” said Rebecca Parker, MD, FACEP, president of ACEP.  “The vast majority of emergency patients seek care appropriately, according to the CDC. Patients cannot be expected to self-diagnose their medical conditions, which is why the prudent layperson standard must continue to be included in any replacement legislation of the Affordable Care Act.”

Thinkstock image via ImageegamI.

woman surrounded by light and flowers

A Poem for Chronic Illness Warriors


I hear your cries. I know your pain. I feel the rhythm of your fear at night, when you pray you’ll wake again.

It’s gone too far. For far too long. But you have never given up because inside you are so strong.

On the outside, falling down, falling apart. It’s about time, when the tears fall in the dark.

Don’t give up. Look how far you’ve come. All those times when you thought you’d come undone.

You are a warrior. You are a queen, you are a king. You are the hero, for all who’s felt the same.

Stand up and shout it out, be proud, I’ll never doubt, you now, let’s figure out a way.

My hand is here my heart has found, your strength appears, your love abounds

Because

You are a warrior. You are queen, you are a king. Going forward. You can make it through this thing.

I believe in you, you made it through today.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via Uladzimir Bakunovich.

Illustration of a woman chewing gum in a yellow sweater that says "highly sensitive," photo of a woman in a bathing suit reading a book, the woman has an ostomy bag, and photo of a man in his underwear taking a selfie.

10 Body Positive Instagram Accounts to Follow this Summer


As summer approaches, you may find it difficult to own your confidence in your body. If you feel uncomfortable in your own skin, you are not alone. Everyone deserves to feel empowered. Body positivity belongs not to one group of people but to everyone, it is an all-encompassing movement to conquer life with confidence.

Finding confidence doesn’t happen overnight — and despite reports that Instagram can be harmful to your mental health — following the right accounts and using strategies mindful of your mental health can make your feed a source of positivity. Here are 10 Instagram accounts to follow for body positive inspiration.

1. Loey Lane

Every year on my birthday my dad would call to play me a song on his trumpet. This is the first year I woke up and didn’t hear him saying “Happy birthday punkin!” Every year on my birthday I like to get myself something small as an act of self love. A manicure, a new phone case, a comfy pair of PJs. This year, all I wanted was that phone call. Instead, I had my closest friends by my side as I picked out this cutie from @buildabear, he’s a Star Trek (my dad’s favorite show) bear and he’s wearing a Minnesota Vikings (his favorite team) hoodie. He also plays the Star Trek theme, which I would pitter patter downstairs in the middle of the night to when I had a nightmare and just wanted to be near my dad. I am happy that in so many ways I can keep my dad with me and remember those things I love so much about him. I love you forever and always Daddy. Love, your Lolu ❤️

A post shared by Loey Lane (@loeybug) on

Loey Lane is a body-positive YouTuber who maintains a strong presence on other social media platforms, especially Instagram. She openly discusses her own mental health, including her experience of grief after losing her father. Lane consistently encourages others to love themselves.

Follow Loey Lane.

2. Nourish and Eat

A few years ago, I never would have tried on these dresses. I would have seen them on the rack and loved them from afar, but never brought them into the dressing room with me. ❌ Bright patterns scared me. They drew attention. Made people look. And that was the last thing I wanted. ???? For those of you who followed along with me on my stories (which is why this photo only has the captions on it, whooops), I went out of my comfort zone shopping for a dress for an upcoming event. A FANCY event. Where people would not only be looking at me, but I’d also be making connections and TALKING to people. (Hello anxiety, my old friend.) And when I saw these dresses, with their gorgeous bright and attention-grabbing patterns, my first thought was “beautiful, but not for me.” BUT TO HELL WITH THAT. Why shouldn’t I try something on? Why can’t I wear something I love? ✨ Our bodies are made out of stardust. They’re actual, literal miracles. The fact that we’re here, right now, trying our best and just EXISTING is a beautiful thing. The world is so much greater than worrying about the shape of our arms in a sleeveless dress, or the number on the tag, or what other people think of us when we walk in a room. ✨✨✨ YOU ARE MAGIC no matter what you put on your body. Regardless of if the clothes fit or don’t fit. Plain or brightly colored. Covered or exposed. You are a miracle of the universe. ???? (PS – the dress I ended up choosing? is BRIGHT RED. No hiding this time for me. ????????) #youaremagic #dressingroomwarrior #wearwhatyouwant

A post shared by G I N A ✨S U S A N N A (@nourishandeat) on

Gina Susanna uses her account to promote body positivity and recovery from eating disorders. Susanna has been featured in Teen Vogue for dealing with weight gain and encourages her Instagram followers to “embrace the squish.” Susanna is often featured, as well as friends and uplifting text images.

Follow Nourish and Eat

3. Positivity Poppa

**MINDSET*** ~ So here’s a little before and after photo of me. There’s probably only about 2-3 years difference. ~ On the left, I’d just finished a circuit from Insanity. I took the photo in the most flattering way possible – best lighting, I was drenched in sweat so I felt it accentuated my muscles etc. It was perhaps the time I was closest to having an ‘aesthetic body’. I felt like having a ripped body would make me happiest and that I’d keep doing insanity until I looked ‘perfect’. ~ HOW SILLY OF ME! 😛 ~ On the right is a picture of me now, taken this morning. I’ve got a bit more of a gut, I’m not trying to focus on lighting (only to make the picture more visible, not to make me look ‘better’) and I’m not posing in any way…but I’m happier in myself! Why? Because I know that my body fat and definition don’t affect my worth as a person. ~ I still exercise and my fitness levels are pretty much the same in both pictures, but my mindset is completely different. Don’t bank your happiness on looking like the models you see in magazines. You’ll spend your entire life trying to achieve a body that might not even be possible! Love yourself and think about all the wonderful things you bring to the world! 🙂 ~ Love you all ????????????????

A post shared by Rishi Bhaskara (@positivitypoppa) on

Rishi Bhaskara advocates for male body positivity, mental and physical health and feminism. He also fundraises for organizations during the half and full marathons he runs. His most recent marathon was run for Beat, an eating disorder charity in the U.K.

Follow Positivity Poppa.

4. Gutless and Glamorous

 Gaylyn Henderson uses her social media presence to fight Crohn’s disease stigmas as well as provide education, empowerment, and awareness for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). “People may stare, that’s OK.  I’ve learned people are either genuinely curious or genuinely inspired,” Henderson told The Mighty. “Curious of what may have caused the scars I have. Inspired because I have the courage to be all that I am regardless of what others may think.”

Follow Gutless and Glamorous.

5. Chronically Carmel

Day 27 ????What you hate most about Lyme ????herxing ????A Herxheimer reaction or Herx for short ????is something that happens when you treat Lyme Disease ????it can be a sign that treatment is working ????????when the bacteria dies off it realises toxins into the body and it really hurts!! ????it causes the Lyme patient to enter a debilitating physical and mental state ????????it can last from a couple hours to a couple weeks ????if it’s not handled properly it can cause a fair bit of damage or even death if it’s really severe ????detoxing is something that really helps ????I have to do it regularly because I have MTHFR as well ????????(a gene mutation to impairs the body’s ability to detox) ????????when I start treatment in a couple weeks there’s gonna some intense herxing ????and I’m pretty nervous ???? but ready ✅and ready to share the journey with you all ????????photo: went to the movies today, we saw Dead Men Tell No Tales ???? ☠️????

A post shared by chronic illness realness ???????? (@chronically_carmel) on

Carmel lives with IBS, fibromyalgia, migraines and Lyme disease. She is open and honest about her experiences and acknowledges how difficult it can be to love your body when you have a chronic illness. Nevertheless, she takes the time to explain and educate, all while maintaining a positive attitude.

Follow Chronically Carmel.

6. Marcela Ilustra

Yesterday I posted about sensitivity and my outburst inspired me to make this illustration. For some time now I’ve identified myself as an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person), but I realized that I never talked about it. It is basically a condition where a person has a hyper-sensitive nervous system, processes things in a deeper and more detailed way, and has a deep empathy for others. In my experience, being an HSP is being seen as a fragile person almost all the time. I have always cried very easily and have shown negative and positive feelings in a very intense and spontaneous way. If something hurt me I could not hold back tears no matter where and with whom I was. I also always found that having lots of things at the same time made me a bit stressed and surrounded by people for a long time too. Above all I have always worried and felt the emotions of the people around me. I can always tell when someone is not in a good mood or sad and that affects me deeply. A subtle change in the way a person treats me may be capable of causing me an immense anguish and making me wonder about a thousand different possibilities. All this has always made me a very insecure person because many times I’ve heard that I was not normal, that I was making drama or that I was very difficult to deal with.Some people have already used this as a justification for not having sex with me and it hurt. It still hurts when it happens. But today I know I have a positive side in my condition and despite all the suffering, I’m proud of it. I care. I care to help, to understand, to listen and if I were not that way, my job would not be this. I’ve done wonderful things for being HSP. I know my sensitivity may be too much for some and even for me at times, but my empathy is something I would not change. Sensitive and wonderful people, we are not alone. Fight to be proud of who you are and use that in a positive way. We can, you can ❤ #mentalhealth #mentalillness #mentalhealthawareness #highlysensitiveperson #hsp #illustration #art #arte #artistsofinstagram #artist #draw #drawing #desenho #dibujo

A post shared by Marcela Sabiá ???? (@marcelailustra) on

 Marcela Sabiá is a Brazilian illustrator who advocates for mental health, self-love and body positivity. Her drawings range from loving your own smile to remembering it’s OK not to be OK.

Follow Marcela Ilustra.

7. Madeline’s Modelling

Happy World Down Syndrome day from Mexico #BreakingTheMouldTour #downsyndrome #inclusion #holiday

A post shared by Madeline Stuart (@madelinesmodelling_) on

Madeline Stuart is a young woman with Down syndrome who has modeled for magazines, fashion shows and news networks. From a young age, Stuart was determined to be a model and make the fashion industry a place of empowerment and inclusiveness for all. “Maddy just likes to show people that if they believe in themselves they are capable of anything,” Madeline’s mother, Roseann Stuart, opreviously told The Mighty. “To never give up or doubt yourself.”

Follow Madeline’s Modelling.

8. Winnie Harlow

Dreams of being a Bond girl… ???????????? #007

A post shared by ♔Winnie Harlow♔ (@winnieharlow) on

Winnie Harlow is a model who made her fame on “America’s Next Top Model” in 2014. Harlow lives with vitiligo, a chronic skin condition characterized by depigmentation of portions of the skin. After being bullied due to her condition, she struggled with mental illness and contemplated suicide. However, she strove for success and is now a world-renowned model.

Follow Winnie Harlow.

9. Mama Caxx

Mama Caxx is a Haitian-American blogger and is an amputee, advocate and motivational speaker. She uses her social media platforms to talk about body positivity and dismantle notions of what people with disabilities “ought” to look or act like. In September 2016, she was invited to the White House to walk in the first ever White House Fashion Show, celebrating inclusive design.

Follow Mama Caxx.

10. Invisible Body Disabilities

Sapevo che Salvatore, come me, soffre di colite ulcerosa, così decisi di contattarlo per fargli conoscere il mio progetto e conoscere la sua storia. Da quel giorno di qualche mese fa iniziò una lunga conversazione, che ancora oggi prosegue e racconta le nostre battaglie quotidiane e le limitazioni della malattia. Quest’estate ho avuto l’onore di conoscerlo di persona, ascoltando la sua storia e scattando alcune foto (ringrazio A.M.I.C.I. – Associazione Malattie Infiammatorie Croniche dell’Intestino per avermi concesso lo spazio dove ho poi montato la mia attrezzatura). Salvatore mi ha raccontato che prima di Dicembre del 2009 non conosceva la malattia, aveva solamente 19 anni. In un primo momento aveva pensato che il suo malessere fosse legato alla cattiva alimentazione o allo stress dello spostamento a Milano dalla Sicilia per studiare all’università. Solo in un secondo momento (in ospedale), ha scoperto l’esistenza della colite ulcerosa. Fino a due anni fa Salvatore stava abbastanza, viaggiava moltissimo e teneva diversi convegni, poi la ricaduta, il ricovero e varie terapie a seguito. Anche una passeggiata di pochi metri lo sfiniva e il dover uscire fuori di casa gli creava panico misto ad ansia ed agitazione. Adesso, invece, va molto meglio ed ha ripreso a viaggiare, a uscire con più serenità e a tenere più controllata la malattia, e spesso finiamo per raccontarci di cibo e viaggi, tralasciando completamente la malattia! La consapevolezza aiuta a prevenire le ricadute, conoscendo già il tipo dolore, e lascia affrontare in maniera più positiva le battaglie di ogni giorno. Full interview: http://www.invisiblebodydisabilities.org/fotointervista-a-salvatore-aranzulla-ci-accomuna-la-colite-ulcerosa/ #raiseawareness #invisiblebodydisabilitiesproject #ibd #ulcerativecolitis #coliteulcerosa #crohnsandcolitisawareness #salvatorearanzulla #web #informatica #internet

A post shared by invisiblebodydisabilities (@invisiblebodydisabilities) on

The work of Chiara DeMarchi, this account proudly dubs itself as a collection of encouraging stories and images of people living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Individuals are often featured as well as families — demonstrating support, validation and love. While this account is published in Italian, these powerful pictures speak for themselves.

Follow Invisible Body Disabilities.

Have a body positive account you love? Let us know in the comments below. 

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