character - woman and man.pngIf you have a hidden disability and are looking for ways to look after your mental wellbeing, then there are lots of self-help resources available. Some disabilities don't have any visible signs so we cannot always tell if someone has one. People with a hidden, invisible, or non-visible disability might have an acquired brain injury, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, partial sight or hearing loss to name a few examples (Source: NBT NHS). 

Living with a hidden disability can make life even more demanding. It can be exhausting, lonely, and painful and there can be social consequences because of your disability. There can also be aspects of visible disabilities that are hidden, such as pressure sores if you use a wheelchair that can be difficult to manage on a day to day basis. There are also remitting and relapsing conditions, such as MS where there are times that the disability is quite visible and other times when it is less visible but yet the challenges remain either way. 

Disclosing disclosure and assumptions people make - less support and peoples expectations of you might be greater. 

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Useful information

Having a hidden, invisible or paritally visible disability can result in more discrimination, having to disclose your disability to more people, receive less support than others whilst others expectations of you are higher.

  • This website has information about non-visible disabilities and Covid-19.
  • Benenden Health has information about invisible disabilities in the workplace, what invisible disabilities are and how to support employees with hidden disabilities in the workplace.
  • Visit the Living Options website to access their Time to Talk and Hub team for mental wellbeing support.
  • Disclosing your invisible disability can be a difficult and complex decision. Read this article about Demi Rixon's personal experiences of disclosing their disability to their employer.   
  • Read Megan's article about her hidden disabilities and tips to help manage stress and fatigue during lockdown as a student. 
  • Often having a disability will be stressful and many will experience loss, which then leads to further loss. For example, your sense of purpose or self-esteem may be impacted. Mindfulness can help you learn to process the feelings you are having in a healthy way. Explore our mindfulness page that has lots of brilliant resources and information.

Video: Hidden disability sunflower lanyard initiative

You may have seen individuals wearing a sunflower lanyard whilst using public transport during the pandemic. These indicate that they have a disability that may not initially be physically identifiable. Hidden disabilities, and those elligble for a sunflower lanyard include individuals with mental health issues (e.g., anxiety), a learning disability, as well as mobility, speech, visual or hearing impairments. This is not an exhaustive list. For more information, watch the video and visit the hidden disabilities website.

Video: TedTalk about invisible disabilities 

Listen to Valerie's story about her invisible disability and her accomplished career as a musician.