I can only speak for myself and my own illnesses (bipolar, anxiety), but I think many can relate to having an invisible illness. “But you seem fine.” “You don’t seem depressed.” I get this a lot, especially the latter.
Well, I am depressed. It’s just that my affect is that of a person who is emotionally stable rather than hurting inside. Psychiatrist #3, who I saw the longest, noticed this and said that if he didn’t know me as a patient, he would never guess that I was depressed (at the time).
It’s not a mask that I put on. When I’m around people, I usually enjoy being with them and am able to converse and have a genuinely good time. And that may be when I hear things like, “You don’t seem depressed.” What they don’t know is how much effort it took for me not to cancel; the effort it took to get in the shower, or at the very least, get dressed.
Please don’t say things like this to people you know who have an invisible illness. It’s invalidating.
Have you ever experienced, the “But you look fine” phenomenon?