15 Disabilities Invisible to the Naked Eye

Jun 6, 2018 at 6:10 p.m. ET
Handicap sign illustration
Image: Karen Cox/SheKnows

Just because one's physical pain isn't visible to others doesn't mean they aren't suffering. It's a lot like a judging a book by its cover: You have no idea what's really going on underneath just by looking at a person — especially while many out there are living with an invisible illness or disability.

For instance, there are those with fibromyalgia, who experience widespread pain and tenderness, affecting their ability to accomplish even the simplest of everyday tasks. And then you have mood disorders like depression, which can manifest itself in physical symptoms like headaches, muscle and back pain and fatigue.

Life with a chronic condition can be incredibly frustrating to those who suffer from them, and there are so many disabilities you can't see with the naked eye. From chronic fatigue syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis to Lyme disease and diabetes, here are 15 disabilities people suffer from every day that you can't tell they have by looking at them.

A version of this article was originally published in May 2015.

1 /15: Lyme Disease

Lyme disease graphic
Image: Karen Cox/SheKnows

1/15 :Lyme Disease

2 /15: Lupus

Lupus graphic
Image: Karen Cox/SheKnows

2/15 :Lupus

3 /15: Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia graphic
Image: Karen Cox/SheKnows

3/15 :Fibromyalgia

4 /15: Epilepsy

Epilepsy graphic
Image: Karen Cox/SheKnows

4/15 :Epilepsy

5 /15: Depression

Depression graphic
Image: Karen Cox/SheKnows

5/15 :Depression

6 /15: Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease graphic
Image: Karen Cox/SheKnows

6/15 :Crohn's Disease

7 /15: Asperger Syndrome

Asperger's syndrome graphic
Image: Karen Cox/SheKnows

7/15 :Asperger Syndrome

8 /15: Asthma

Asthma graphic
Image: Karen Cox/SheKnows

8/15 :Asthma

9 /15: Autism

Autism graphic
Image: Karen Cox/SheKnows

9/15 :Autism

10 /15: Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder graphic
Image: Karen Cox/SheKnows

10/15 :Bipolar Disorder

11 /15: Brain Injuries

Brain injuries graphic
Image: Karen Cox/SheKnows

11/15 :Brain Injuries

12 /15: Diabetes

Diabetes graphic
Image: Karen Cox/SheKnows

12/15 :Diabetes

13 /15: Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis graphic
Image: Karen Cox/SheKnows

13/15 :Rheumatoid Arthritis

14 /15: Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia graphic
Image: Karen Cox/SheKnows

14/15 :Schizophrenia

15 /15: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome graphic
Image: Karen Cox/SheKnows

15/15 :Chronic Fatigue Syndrome