Invisible Illness

Millions of women who look perfectly healthy on the outside are grappling with chronic conditions that make normal life anything but. They have what’s been dubbed an invisible illness, because their struggles go unseen. Here are their stories.

Most Recent

Living With Sickle Cell Disease Is a Constant Battle With Pain, According to One Woman Who Has It

People always tell Danielle Jamison, 35, that she "doesn't look sick." But the genetic blood disorder she's battled since childhood makes day-to-day life a challenge.

I Hid My Genetic Disorder for Years—Until Doctors Found a Golf Ball-Size Cyst in My Lung

All her life, Harper Spero, 35, has been living with a rare, incurable syndrome that affects her immune system. But it wasn't until she underwent life-threatening surgery in her late 20s that she began facing the challenges of this invisible illness.

Post-Concussion Syndrome Makes It Hard for Me to Function—Here's What It's Like

After an accidental hit to the head, Kate Anderson, 37, was diagnosed with a mild traumatic brain injury, which led to post-concussion syndrome. A year later, day-to-day life with this isolating disorder remains a challenge.

I'm a 22-Year-Old With Fibromyalgia—and Some Days I Wish I Could Detach Myself From My Body

After years of debilitating pain, Bel Banta was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a disorder that's not well understood by doctors. Here, she shares what it's like to be 22 years old and living with episodes of chronic pain few people are aware of.

More Invisible Illness

Millions of Women are Living With 'Invisible Illnesses': Here's What That Means

Millions of women who look perfectly healthy on the outside are grappling with chronic conditions that make “normal” life anything but. This is what it’s really like to have an invisible illness.

How Having a Hysterectomy at 17 Changed My Life

Julie Jacques, 27, underwent a hysterectomy when she was just 17—but her chronic pelvic pain only got worse.

17 Women Reveal What It's Really Like to Live With an Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety disorders are so much more than being stressed.