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When You Wonder About My Invisible Disability

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Is my “invisible disability” getting in the way? My bipolar disorder is certainly not invisible to me. It sleeps next to me, keeping me awake for days and days when I am manic, causing me to stay on the couch for weeks when I am depressed.

• What is Bipolar disorder?

It is not invisible to me. It often makes it impossible for me to work, and I have to take time off resign from my job. I have been discriminated against by the state I live in. I never work when I am ill and have never had a complaint in 25 years in my profession. It took me two lawyers to resolve it, and the threat still hangs over my head. Obviously, not working causes severe financial problems as well.

Do you wonder about this invisible disability, like why I have a service dog when I can see, walk and hear just perfectly? You don’t see the times I am so depressed that I don’t move from one place for hours, and my service dog barks and paws at me to take my medications, to drink water. She does so much more.

Do you think “how bad can this invisible disability be” since I am smart and well-spoken? Why can’t I just go to work? When I am in an episode of my illness, I don’t shower, dress or eat for days at a time. I hear voices and feel paranoid and numb. My mind taunts me to end this torture.

Is my illness becoming more visible? This is just the tip of it. So, before you judge someone with an invisible disability, ask them about it. We will all be better off.

Getty image by Justin Bartels.

Originally published: July 4, 2018
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