When it comes to work, social environments or even officials like your GP, we are always having to show evidence of our mental illness. The problem being, that there is not always physical evidence that comes along with it. Feeling like you constantly have to prove your invisible illness is incredibly invalidating, not only to you, but also to other people who share the same problem. No one has the right to tell you how you feel and only a mental health professional can diagnose you. Not only that, but often diagnoses can be incorrect or different depending on the doctor.
I’ve had people tell me I’m lazy or not trying hard enough, when they have no idea of my struggles. It can lead to making me feel like that IS the case. These words can be incredibly detrimental and harming to someone that is already struggling.
The problem here is often that people are ignorant of how mental illness can manifest, if you are not suffering constantly or if you are not showing symptoms, that people associate with the illness, then you can be seen as faking or attention seeking.
Not only is this stigmatising it can create problems for the person suffering. It is simply not good enough. We need to take people at their word and help them when they need it. Not question if they’re being genuine.
Below are examples of just having to prove disability on the internet: