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Whether a disability is a condition from birth, or one that begins later in life, the one certainty is that it will be challenging. If the disability can’t be seen, it can be even tougher to cope day to day.

Chronic pain conditions, mental health issues and degenerative diseases can be troublesome when out and about, since they stop the person from getting on with things and potentially achieving a desired quality of life. What’s more, it’s hard to cope when other people don’t – or can’t – appreciate what you are going through.

If you have an invisible disability and need assistance and guidance, don’t feel you are alone. Here are some ways to help you cope and gain inner strength.

Embrace help and support

Whatever your condition or the challenges you are facing, there are others out there who may well be in the same or similar position. Support groups and individuals with the same condition will be able to offer advice and be there for you. Many disabilities are supported by a Charity specialising in supporting individuals living with that condition.

Perhaps you have diabetes, epilepsy or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; like other conditions they all can make you feel a little isolated if you don’t know anyone else with the same issues as you, especially if you’ve only recently been diagnosed.

There are lots of support groups you can join, either face to face or through online groups or forums. These are often led by people living with the same condition. There, you’ll be warmly welcomed and will find others you can talk to and share experiences.

Using these resources is a great way to express your frustration and get a caring shoulder to lean on.

Find experts who can help and guide

As you cope with an invisible disability, you’ll meet a number of specialists; doctors, nurses, counsellors for example. Once you’ve been diagnosed, don’t think you can’t talk to them about how you’re feeling or ask for help and assistance with your daily life. Whatever your needs, there will be someone with a medical background who can signpost you or explain the reasons you feel the way you do.

Sometimes with invisible disabilities comes the situation where working becomes difficult – even if your employer is supportive and has put in place reasonable adjustments. If this happens and it leads to issues such as financial strains, talk to an advisor with an organisation such as the Citizens Advice Bureau. They can help with contacting creditors and can also point you in the right direction for benefits and grants you may be entitled to. Stability is all part of your wellbeing, and if you have debt problems, it’ll only add to your strain.  Alternatively many large organisations provide an Employee Assistance Programme for their staff.  Check out to see if you have one in place.

Don’t feel you have to cope alone

The most important piece of advice few can offer is this: never struggle alone.

Living with an invisible disability is a never-ending challenge, and bottling things up never helps. Talking can be a great therapy in itself.

If you feel you would benefit from one to one coaching on how to approach get the most out of life, speak to us, we’re dedicated to helping people with all kinds of disabilities, and we can support you as you learn to cope with your condition.

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