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.

Life Interrupted: Living With an Invisible Illness

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

What It's Like to Live With Bipolar Disorder—a Mental Health Condition No One Can See

Mackenzie Driscoll, 26, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 6 years ago. This is how she's learned to manage work, social situations, and daily life with an illness that's not just invisible but also carries a stigma.

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.