Invisible Illness

Millions of women who look perfectly healthy on the outside are grappling with chronic conditions that make normal life anything but. They have what's been dubbed an invisible illness, because their struggles go unseen. Here are their stories.

Life Interrupted: Living With an Invisible Illness

Shailene Woodley on Struggling with 'Debilitating' Health Condition: 'It Spun Me Out for a While'
Shailene Woodley opens up about a serious health condition she has faced that caused her to say "no to a lot of projects ... because I physically couldn't participate in them."
Living With Sickle Cell Disease Is a Constant Battle With Pain, According to One Woman Who Has It
People always tell Danielle Jamison, 35, that she "doesn't look sick." But the genetic blood disorder she's battled since childhood makes day-to-day life a challenge.
I Hid My Genetic Disorder for Years—Until Doctors Found a Golf Ball-Size Cyst in My Lung
All her life, Harper Spero, 35, has been living with a rare, incurable syndrome that affects her immune system. But it wasn't until she underwent life-threatening surgery in her late 20s that she began facing the challenges of this invisible illness.
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More Invisible Illness

Post-Concussion Syndrome Makes It Hard for Me to Function—Here's What It's Like
After an accidental hit to the head, Kate Anderson, 37, was diagnosed with a mild traumatic brain injury, which led to post-concussion syndrome. A year later, day-to-day life with this isolating disorder remains a challenge.
I'm a 22-Year-Old With Fibromyalgia—and Some Days I Wish I Could Detach Myself From My Body
After years of debilitating pain, Bel Banta was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a disorder that's not well understood by doctors. Here, she shares what it's like to be 22 years old and living with episodes of chronic pain few people are aware of.

I Survived Thyroid Cancer—but Dealing With the Side Effects Has Been Harder Than I Ever Imagined

Writer Christine Coppa had her thyroid removed because of cancer. Here, she explains what life is like without this important gland, her struggle with weight gain and mood changes, and what she wants others to know about surviving the big C.