Imagine your alarm goes off on a typical Monday morning. This week you have homework, sports practice, and after-school clubs, plus the usual social drama.
Now, imagine that on top of all your other stress, you’re not even sure you’ll be able to get out of bed.
That’s the reality for many of the hundreds of thousands of teens in this country who struggle with invisible illnesses—conditions that they cope with every day, but that other people can’t see.
Having an invisible illness comes with different burdens than other health issues. If you break your arm, everyone can see your cast. But if your illness silently attacks your body from the inside, no one can tell—and that only makes coping with it harder.
You might worry that talking about it bums people out. You might feel anxiety about how your illness impacts your family and friends.
You might feel as invisible as your disease.
So what does a teen with an invisible illness look like? No two are exactly the same. These teens are coping with conditions that currently have no cure, but they’re all working to change that. Here’s what they want you to know about their lives and how you can help.