But You Don’t Look Sick

Living with an invisible illness can be a frustrating and isolating experience.  Undetectable symptoms make it difficult for diagnosis, which often leads to disbelief by physicians, family members, peers and sometimes even the ill person — that the illness exists. In addition to isolation, for many people invisible illness also causes a biography disruption. Biography disruption is the idea that chronic illness affects daily life, individual identity, self-reliance and personal relationships (Bury, 2008). People living with a chronic illness sometimes have to adjust or recreate their identity. Illness complications might require a person to change careers, forgo having children, or renegotiating their educational goals. The illness disrupts a person’s ability to function socially or to engage in activities. The unpredictability of the illness experience forces many patients to adjust to a slower pace in life. Other patients assert that when they are in remission they accomplish a great deal, because they are unable to when flares arise (Lowe & McBride-Henry, 2012). This newly renegotiated identity leaves people who are living with the invisible illness analyzing what has been lost from their old identity, what remains the same, and what is new? 

We want to hear from you! But You Don’t Look Sick provides an outlet for people interested in writing about their experience of living with an invisible chronic illness.

Do you have a story you would like to pitch about your experience living with an invisible chronic illness? In a creative video, audio, or written piece, help us spread awareness!

  • The time limit for video and audio pieces is 3 minutes. Video and audio pieces must be hosted on a shareable platform (YouTube, Vimeo, Soundcloud, etc.) to be considered. Video / audio submission should express creativity.
  • The word limit for written pitch is 400 words. (Written pieces can be emailed as a word, rtf, or pdf document).
  • Each pitch is reviewed by a member of our editorial team. Submissions are typically responded to in a few days.
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