Breaking Barriers - Invisible illnesses and disabilites (opinion piece)

Not too long ago, I wrote a post about having an invisible illness. I have Epilepsy, as I'm sure you know by now, but invisible illnesses and disabilities come in a variety of forms and each will come with its own barrier.

One friend in particular has chronic asthma and has to take steroids twice a week. She was at work one day and was coughing, someone turned to her and said 'that cough is the reason you are single'. Some people tend to be more understanding to people with physical disabilities and problems with mobility because that's what people understand but this is a situation we need to nip in the bud.

There are plenty of companies and charities working hard to improve the everyday lives of people with disabilities. People like Premier Bathrooms are working to make mobility easier at home (dude, I want one of those showers and I'm not even lying), There are Disabled Access Awareness Day and I've even seen bloggers pushing on social media how stigma is not OK and then the public have all pulled together to get them new wheelchairs and more.

With the invisible disabilities, there's a lot more to be done though. As can be seen, a friend was mistreated/mocked for having asthma (5.4 million people in the UK have it... so, what the hell?) so just imagine what it's like for people with Crohn's disease. People don't know enough about it to even be remotely understanding. People assume that any disability comes with a wheelchair in tow which is just not the case.

It's a matter of education. One of the best things I did was reach out on social media. Ask people to ask me questions about my illness and educate them in a way that's not facts, figures and scary medical terms. I did the same thing at a previous job rather than just give them a load of paper work to look through,

It's always going to be hard to help people understand something they're not exposed to in every day life. You can occasionally see people looking on with pity or have ridiculous comments passed in your direction. But when we work together, we can stamp these stigmas out all together.

Have you ever received any stigma/negative treatment as a result of a disability?

*This is a sponsored post in partnership with Premier Bathrooms. All views are my own and I genuinely want one of those showers. They look bloody amazing.

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