Living with and recovering from an invisible illness


Invisible illnesses are conditions that are not readily apparent to others. These illnesses can be challenging to understand and manage because they are not visible to the naked eye. Although some people may look healthy on the outside, they may be experiencing chronic pain, fatigue, anxiety, depression, or other symptoms.

Types of invisible illness

There are many different types of invisible illnesses, including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Lyme Disease, Long Covid, IBS, POTS, MCAS, and more. Invisible illnesses can have a profound impact on a person’s life, affecting their ability to work, engage in social activities, and enjoy life to the fullest.

Myths about invisible illness

Invisible illnesses are often misunderstood and stigmatized, leading to a host of misconceptions. One common myth is that these symptoms are in the mind. But it is important to understand that invisible illnesses are real and can have a significant impact on a person’s life.

Advocating for yourself

If you have an invisible illness, it is important to advocate for yourself and seek support. One way to do this is to talk to your loved ones and educate them about your illness. You can explain your symptoms, how they affect you, and what kind of help you need. By opening up to those closest to you, you can create a support system that will help you manage your condition.

Taking care of yourself

Living with an invisible illness can be challenging, but there are steps you can take to manage your symptoms and live life to the fullest. One of the most important things you can do is take care of your mental health by seeking support from a therapist or counselor who can help you cope with your condition.

Mindfulness and meditation are also effective tools for managing symptoms. These practices can help you stay present and focused, reduce stress, and improve your overall well-being. Light movement and exercise can also be beneficial, as long as you work within your limitations. Eating a healthy diet and spending time in nature and sunlight will also boost your physical and mental health.

Recovering from an invisible illness

Even if you have been living with and managing your condition for a long time, recovery is possible. This is because new research suggests that hyper-arousal in the brain may directly cause chronic symptoms such as pain, fatigue, anxiety, depression, stomach problems, headaches, chest pain, heart palpitations, dizziness, and more.

Although the brain can become overactive and cause symptoms as a protective mechanism, it can also be rewired in the opposite direction through a process called ‘brain retraining’. Brain retraining occurs through the repetition of certain exercises which teach the brain that you are safe. One well-known type of brain retraining is The Gupta Program, which has helped thousands of people to recover.

Supporting others

If you know someone with an invisible illness, one of the most important things you can do is to listen. People with invisible illnesses may feel unheard, so taking the time to listen to their experiences can be incredibly meaningful.

Empathy is also important when supporting someone with an invisible illness. Try to put yourself in their shoes and imagine what it must be like to live with their condition. This can help you understand their struggles and offer more effective support.

Finally, offer practical help where possible. This may include running errands, providing transportation, or cooking meals. Small gestures can make a big difference in the lives of people with invisible illnesses.



Ashok Gupta is the Director of the Gupta Program. He has dedicated his life to helping people get their life back from Chronic Illness, improving people’s well-being, and helping them achieve their potential. He has been teaching meditation around the world for over 15 years. He runs a global e-clinic specializing in treating ME, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia & Multiple Chemical Sensitivities –

Ashok has spent many years researching the brain neurology of emotion and linking well-being tools with science. He has published medical papers on the basis of stress-related illnesses. He has appeared in many media as an expert on stress on the BBC, CNN, Guardian Newspaper, ITV, The Independent, and many others.

He wrote and presented the Meaning of Life Experiment which is a Free, Award-winning Meditation and Self-Development App

He also works with companies around the world, teaching courses in Leadership, Time Management, and Personal Development.