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Articles to Read

Whether you are looking for someone who cares and understands invisible illness or you simply want to read more about this topic, some wonderful articles are available for your reading.

Since some of these articles have been made available for us through the geneoursity of others, we ask that you please read the footer at the end of the article regarding reprint/copyright information.

Statistics about chronic pain/illness.

Do you have an article you'd like us to consider posting? Please email it to us with your bio and reprint considerations


Coping with an invisible condition What makes an illness or condition visible or invisible? Assistive devices, body appearance, and behaviour tell others you are ill or disabled. Devices include canes, wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, braces. Most of these are used for mobility. Body appearance can be things like . . . by Dr. Brian Grady


50 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend
Want to help but don't know where to start? We all have those times we don't have a clue what to say or what to do (like bring another casserole- gasp!) These are 50 ways reprinted from Beyond Casseroles: 505 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend. . .by Lisa Copen


When the Pain is Invisible "But you look so good!" "I can tell you must be feeling better. You look great!" "I'm so glad you were able to come. Thank goodness you finally are getting some relief." To a healthy person, none of these comments seem unusual or insincere. Our friends are simply trying to find the right thing to say. Of course, they really do believe that you must be feeling better or you wouldn't be out of bed... by Lisa Copen


Why Seeing is Not Always Believing Has someone ever said to you, "You look great!" while inside you felt fatigued or were in profound pain? People who live with ongoing pain and chronic health challenges face such dilemmas every day. Since many ongoing symptoms often do not manifest outwardly, people sometimes have a difficult. . .By Carol Sveilich, MA. author of Just Fine: Unmasking Concealed Chronic Illness And Pain


Reinvent Your Dreams Often when we are sidelined with pain and illness, we stop dreaming - about who we want to become, what we want to do, things we want to experience, how we want to impact the world. This often leads to a profound sense of loss, fear, frustration, and sometimes depression. We can become trapped and immobilized by not only our physical pain, but our emotional distress as well. By Joanna Wasmuth, founder of Harmony Coaching Group

6 Ways to Let Those with Chronically Illness in Your Church Know You Care Nearly 1 in 2 people in the U.S. have a chronic condition. If it’s not you, it’s someone sitting next to you. Too often, a chronic illness, such as fibromyalgia, or a chronic condition like back pain from a car accident, is invisible. Those who live with chronic illnesses do everything they can to look presentable, get to church, and sit through the service. But as someone with rheumatoid arthritis, as I stood during worship. . . By Lisa Copen

How Does Social Security Define “Disability” Anyway?
Have you ever wondered what the “definition” of disability is? I know you have…we all believe we know “who” is disabled and “who” is not. Heck, you can tell just by looking at a person! Doctors are usually certain they know whether their patients meet the “definition” of disabled... by Scott Davis, Esq.

When a Friend Has a Chronic Illness: What to Say How to Help
When a friend is diagnosed with a chronic illness the natural cycle of healing doesn't take place. What do we say? Do we encourage her to remain hopeful? Chronic illness is permanent and often degenerative, requiring her to change nearly everything about her life. The emotions that accompany these changes in her life are often more difficult to cope with than the pain itself... by Lisa Copen


How Do I Make People Understand? "I don't understand why you won't at least take his phone number; he's a Christian and he specializes in herbal remedies. He could heal you and then you could share his success with everyone and that could be your ministry…" by Lisa Copen


When Friends Just Don't Understand
As I hang up the phone from a talk with a friend who I hadn't spoken with in months, I smile at the sense of renewal I feel. Nothing can replace a good laugh with someone who knows you well and loves you anyway. Friendships are one of the greatest... by Lisa Copen


One Woman Shares Her Story
"I cannot tell you how many times I have heard the phrase 'But you Look So Good!!' or 'you look good, so you must not be in pain. . ."

Seeing Invisble Disabilities Jesus had a way of seeing what others missed and ministering to those who were forgotten, shunned, or misunderstood. He touched and healed lepers when everyone else scurried away. He cared for those with chronic afflictions — such as congenital blindness and incurable hemorrhage — while others gave up. He bestowed hope where others scattered the ashes of despair... by Dr. Groothuis.

When You're Spouse Doesn't Believe that You are Ill The doctor couldn't find anything wrong with her, despite her complaints about pain and extreme fatigue. He left the room and her husband came back a few minutes later. "Hi, Honey," she replied to her spouse, as she carefully reached out for his hand. But he didn't reach out to take her outstretched hand; he just let it sit there empty on the scratchy hospital blanket. He looked at her with tired eyes, full of frustration... by Lisa Copen

Winning Your Disability Case in Three Words… Frequency, Severity and Duration
In a disability case, almost any symptom or limitation can be disabling; but to determine whether they preclude work, the relevant questions are how frequent, how severe, and how long do they last? Scott Davis, Esq.


When Friends Turn Away In my life friends have come and gone like autumn leaves in a fall rainstorm; momentary blazes of color, until the ill-wind blows. With every leaf that fell from my fragile friendship tree, they drained the sap of life from my very heart...


But They LOOK So Good! Surprisingly, more than 125 million Americans have at least one chronic condition. Nearly half have more than one. An illness or injury is considered chronic, when it lasts a year or longer, limits activity and may require ongoing care... by Sherri Connell


Making Desirable Changes Health problems and symptoms, with the possible exception of pure genetic disorders, carry a signal to change. Even the flu tells us to rest and take Vitamin C. The message can be as obvious as, "get better shoes," if our feet hurt, or it may be hard to decipher. It can relate to an internal issue, like a headache that means, "Stop trying to be the perfect mother, already!" Or it could be telling us about an external change...By David Spero, RN

I Never Know What to Say or Do!
Have you ever wanted to encourage someone with a chronic illness, but it seems like you never know what to say? Moreover, when you finally think of something you just know will make them smile, do they snap back at you with frustration? Well, you are not... by Sherri Connell


No Cast, No Cane, No Pain Have you ever seen someone get out of a car parked in a space reserved for the disabled, who did not LOOK disabled? Did it make you very uncomfortable or... by Sherri Connell



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National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week ™ is an official annual campaign sponsored by Rest Ministries
in collaboration with other sponsors. All information is Copyrighted, 2008, however, copies can be made and freely distributed as designed for and intended for advocacy partners for the purpose of representing National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week ™. If you have any questions, please email us for clarification.