'But you don't look sick': Living with an invisible disability

When Rebecca Young parks her car in a disabled parking spot she often feels the searing stares.
Is she driving her grandparents' car? Why does she have a disability sticker when she is aged in her 30s and appears to walk perfectly well?

Ms Young has rheumatoid arthritis, a condition in which the body's immune system attacks its own tissue, including the joints. She also suffers from fibromyalgia that causes chronic pain.

“It got to a point where you couldn’t tell from the outside that anything was wrong with me,” she said.  But she was actually in a lot of pain.

“One of my hips felt totally broken.”

It’s the struggle she faces having an ‘invisible’ disability - one that impacts a person's life but can not be easily seen or understood by the public and sometimes even by friends and family.

Invisible illness or disability affects thousands of Australians. Many of them have been told "but you don't look sick".

A NSW campaign launched last December called #thinkoutsidethechair encouraged people "to see beyond the chair because not all disabilities are visible".

To read the full article published in The Age, 8 October 2019 (Nicole Precel) click here: https://www.theage.com.au/national/but-you-don-t-look-sick-living-with-a...