Sick

By: Anna W.

Sarasota, Florida

Artist Statement

An invisible illness is a disability that isn’t immediately apparent. These include such chronic illnesses as diabetes, sleep disorders, chronic pain, and visual and auditory impairments. Through my piece, I wanted to communicate the mental stress that having an invisible illness can put on someone, due to the many ignorant responses that they receive. I’ve lived my whole life with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (an invisible chronic pain disorder) and have been told, “It’s all in your head!” or “You’re lucky! I wish I had a handicapped parking tag,” more times than I can count. Because I look “normal,” I get mean looks when I step out of my car, park in a handicapped spot, or stand up from my wheelchair. Although it may take time, I believe that we need to educate ourselves about invisible illnesses and come together to support those that may be affected in our community and around the world.