Many people all around are navigating life in the world with secret, invisible ailments.
They may carry erosive physical pain, paralyzing worry or sadness, or strange rarities difficult to put into words.
Tthe internet provides a safe space to express frustration with plights like these. Such a forum offers a means toward empathy to the humbly curious.
Mental health, the autoimmune system, and dysfunctional systems of organs under the skin are the usual culprits. These Redditors put into sharp relief the inaccuracy of the all-too-common refrain: "you probably get used to it."
wonder_wolfie asked, "What are some injuries and illnesses that people underestimate the most?"
People don't understand how bad and terrible they make you feel thinking you just "get used to it."
Head on a Swivel and an Anvil on the Shoulders
Anxiety disorders. A lot of people think it's something all in the head or fake.
I legit have a hard time leaving house because it gets so bad.
Imagine Pain as the Rule, Not the Anomaly
Mostly an invisible illness but it can get extreme enough to make one constantly contemplate suicide to escape the pain.
Unfortunately women don't talk about it or make enough stink about it so people think it's either "made up" or "just a bad period" unless you've actually been diagnosed with it.
A Dark Horse
Sepsis. It kills more people than cancer.
Taking Breath for Granted
I remember being at a house party and this girl was seriously messed up, outside gasping for air.
3 people die from an asthma attack in the UK every day.
Too Close to the Sun
As someone with bipolar depression, I find that people are more understanding of me when I'm depressed than when I'm hypomanic.
Hypomania is being hyperactive and giggly even when you're scared and sad and angry. It's not being able to identify what you're feeling but outside you look like a happy little 2 year old. It's being unable to think any further than 2 seconds from now.
Hiding in Plain Sight
People just think it makes you look unattractive but in reality in can give you chronic and constant back, neck pain.
Once you've had it for a while it can cause depression, migraines, anxiety, and the numbness can spread to your face as well.
The Bipedal Nag
ACL tears are up there with the worst injuries in my mind.
9-12month recovery with a ridiculous amount of rehab as well as not being able to shower by yourself for a week. Truly miserable.
IT'S NOT JUST A HEADACHE!
I suffer from a form of headaches called hemiplegic migraines. They're migraines that occur on one side of the brain and cause stroke like symptoms on the opposite side of the body.
I go completely paralyzed on my right side, I'm unable to speak, I'm often not lucid, and I go blind on occasion.
A Dietary Restriction Like No Other
It can cause seriously horrible symptoms beyond the digestive issues that are usually associated with it (daily migraines, agonising joint and bone pain, ataxia and crippling anxiety and depression in my case).
Then, once you're diagnosed you have all the fun of constant social exclusion because you can't just go to a friends house or restaurant for dinner without doing a ton of research on how much they know about cross contamination.
When It's More than a Nag
Anytime I mention to someone that I can't do something because of my back pin, they're always like, "Yeah. I get it. I get back pain too." And then expect me to do whatever thing.
But what they don't understand is that my back hurts every second of the day.And it's not just my back. My whole right leg, all the way down to my toes, is either tingly or hurts or is numb. People think it's just normal back pain and think I'm exaggerating.
But when I say I can't carry that gallon of milk up the stairs today, I mean it.
Pain Without Fruit
I didn't have an emotional attachment, so I'm not talking about the mental hurt it can cause. I'm talking physical.
I started the day with period-like cramps, but by the afternoon they were full-on, blindingly painful labor contractions (though I didn't know it then).
I was screaming obscenities in the hospital even after morphine. The doctor eventually came in and explained that I was in full labour, hence the pain. And the blood. Good god the blood. When I got my internal ultrasound I had to scoot to the edge of the exam table, which caused a fu**ing WATERFALL of blood from my downtown.
Common Doesn't Mean Easy
My Dad has it and I never realized what an awful annoyance it is to have to deprive yourself of everything good. Not to mention if you don't have health benefits the cost of all the needles and crap is insane.
Bad Luck Rarities
Dentist told me when I was 10 years old that my teeth would likely be gone by the time I'm 30. I'm turning 28 in half a year's time. I don't know how to smile because of it, I don't want anyone to see my teeth.
When Your Face Hurts
People generally know what it's like to be a bit sleep deprived for a day or two and think that being sleep deprived for months on end is basically that. Really, it's far, far worse.
Overused and Trivialized
It's not "oh I have to alphabetize my bookshelf at home I'm so ocd!"
It's being afraid that you're going to do something evil, something you'd never willingly do, because the thought of it haunts and torments you. It's participating in exhausting rituals every day, multiple times a day, because you think the world will end if you don't. It's the worst and I hate it.
Unequipped for Contact
Simple falls, especially in the elderly.
I volunteer in EMS and the most tragic cases I've seen have been elderly folks who've simply fallen from standing height, for whatever reason, and hit their head.
They've developed bleeds inside their brains which have ultimately resulted in unconsciousness and most likely (I don't get to know all the details) death.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/