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Introduction to this blog

Introduction to this blog

Thank you for your interest in this blog. If you’re reading this, chances are, you or someone you care about is living with a hidden disability, and you’re seeking guidance on how to navigate the unique challenges and opportunities that come with it.

I’m here to share my experience with the various ‘disabling’ conditions, how I manage them and how I navigate culture and society despite them all. Most of my conditions are permanent and chronic, so I’m not here to discuss ‘cures’ – because there aren’t any for most of them. I also realise that I and my conditions will continually be a ‘work-in-progress’, although I prefer to think of it as a journey – it’s a bit more positive that way.

Defining Hidden Disabilities

First, let’s clarify what is meant by “hidden disabilities.” Hidden disabilities, also known as invisible disabilities, refer to conditions or impairments that are not immediately apparent to others (ref). While they may not be readily visible to the naked eye, hidden disabilities can significantly impact a person’s daily life, functioning, and overall well-being. These conditions encompass a wide range, including but not limited to neurodevelopmental disorders like ADHD and autism spectrum disorder, mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, and chronic illnesses like fibromyalgia and lupus.

Purpose of the Blog

My initial purpose for this guide is to allow me to organise myself. But then I thought that by sharing it, maybe I can also help to empower other individuals with hidden disabilities to have hope in their own lives. Whether you’re navigating the challenges of work or education, managing relationships and social interactions, accessing healthcare and support services, or simply seeking strategies for daily coping and resilience, I’m collating practical tips, insights, and resources to help us live our best lives.

Overview of Topics Covered

Throughout this blog, I’ll delve into various aspects of living with hidden disabilities, including understanding them from both physical and mental perspectives, managing daily life (including relationships and social interactions across personal and professional environments), coping techniques, accessing healthcare and support services, trying to overcome stigma and misconceptions, and hopefully, embracing the journey of thriving with hidden disabilities.

Specifically, I’ll explore strategies for self-advocacy, effective communication, time management, stress management, building resilience, and much more. Additionally, I’ll address common misconceptions and stigma surrounding hidden disabilities, and share my personal experiences. Along the way, I hope to explore how we can promote inclusion, accessibility, and understanding within our communities.

I hope that whether you’re newly diagnosed or have been living with a hidden disability for years, this e-book will meet you wherever you are on your own journey and provide you with practical tools, encouragement, and support to help you navigate life with confidence, resilience, and even joy.

So, let’s embark on this journey together and discover the limitless possibilities that await us as we navigate life our own PHDs (Perfectly Hidden Disabilities).