Living with a disability is always challenging, but living with one or multiple invisible disabilities holds challenges many people do not even comprehend. Invisible disabilities are usually unseen and often misunderstood compared to the obvious physical disabilities some people have. So why is it so easy for some people within our communities to discount the many problems that invisible disabilities bring? Why is it also very easy for friends and even family to completely miss the needs such disabilities bring to their loved ones?
When non-disabled, including some physically disabled, individuals can not physically see a challenge or very little of its effects, it can be easy to discount if there really is a problem unless they know the person has certain challenges and can truly understand how the disabilities affect each person differently.
Some problems those with invisible disabilities run into can be quite degrading. Having to listen to constant opinions on how to reduce or fix various disabling symptoms can be very frustrating. This is something that is constantly said over the years by others who may mean well or those that do not understand the challenges the conditions bring into everyday life. Another common issue is being accused of being lazy or that the disabled person is not trying hard enough. Again it seems to come from lack of understanding and ignorance.
Comparing disabled people; whether it is the same disabilities or entirely different disabilities is also a huge concern. Not one person or disability is the same not unlike comparing fingerprints. When one thing may help one person, it may entirely fail another persons situation. Trying to compare how capable or high functioning one person is to why another person isn’t the same, or trying hard enough, is like trying to ask why a cat just can’t act like a dog. It’s ridiculous in its entirety and only hurts the disabled person more.
Our community in St. Cloud, or where ever one may live, must stop bringing further oppression and discrimination into society. Everyone in the end brings something to this world to make a difference in some way. So why must some in the human race feel they must make things even more volatile, instead of being there for each other for once? Let’s think of how important a greater understanding of such problems are in order to not only make a disabled persons life better, but our whole world as well.
By: Tina Elliott