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My name is Nat and I am 25 years old. I have been diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy), Fibromyalgia and Depression. Until I was about 20, I was very healthy and had never been to a hospital except to visit but now I\’ve spent so much time there that most of the nurses in several departments know me by name!
All 3 of my disabilities are invisible, and because of my age I often get disgusted looks from older people when they see me using a crutch to get around or having to stop and hold onto something every few steps. So often people assume that if you’re under 60+, you can’t be disabled if you aren’t using a wheelchair.
Someone with an invisible disability can be in a huge amount of pain but at the same time be trying as hard as possible to look “normal”. Please remember when you see someone who doesn’t have an immediately obvious problem using a disabled parking space, walking using a crutch, going slowly or stopping regularly, or anything else, that not all disabilities can be seen. Don’t judge unless you have been in that persons shoes and gone through what they have. You never know if next time it will be your family in this position, wanting a little compassion.
Think before you judge – Invisible disabilities are just as “real” as visible ones!