The incredible photos that highlight the reality of living with a chronic illness.


Image: Supplied.

Living with a chronic illness is completely debilitating in itself, but sufferers can often find themselves faced with another problem. While internally their body is struggling to do its job, on the outside everything can look perfectly fine.

“But you don’t look sick?” is a phrase anyone with chronic illness will be all to familiar with and one the #SufferingTheSilence campaign is passionate about dispelling.

The incredible photo series and Suffering The Silence website were inspired by co-founder Allie Cashel’s newly released book, Suffering the Silence: Chronic Lyme Disease in an Age of Denial. 

While the book details Cashel’s experience about living with a disease that’s not officially recognised, the photo series is an opportunity for other chronic illness sufferers to share their own stories.

Allie, Chronic Lyme Disease

Image via Suffering The Silence.


"For a long time I was terrified to tell people about my illness experience because I was scared they wouldn’t believe me. I needed to become an advocate for myself, especially in conversations about my controversial diagnosis. I had doctors tell me I was having a mental breakdown and needed to find the strength to tell them otherwise. It hasn’t been easy, but finding my voice and sharing my story has been an incredibly powerful tool in my healing process."

Tatianna, Endometriosis

Image via Suffering The Silence.


"The biggest thing, especially with Endometriosis, is that so many women go undiagnosed for so long because they’ve never heard of it. The problem I had with my doctor was that I would go in complaining of pain and he said, 'Everyone goes through this, it’s called a period'. It took me a good six years before I finally got diagnosed." (Post continues in and after gallery.)

"Although on the outside it may look like every now and then I get period pains, you don’t realise that no, it’s an every day thing and just because I don’t want everyone to know I’m in pain - I am."

For more stories and how you can join the campaign, visit Suffering The Silence.

What's your experience with living with a chronic illness?