One of the biggest problems that people with invisible illnesses or disabilities face is that people often don’t understand or know about the issues, or that they fail to see how much of an impact they can have on the life of the sufferer. This is not as bad as it used to be, with people being generally more aware when it comes to health in general thanks to the internet, but it is still something we have to deal with almost every day.
Naturally, this makes a lot of invisible illness patients want to do something about it, to help educate others about people in their situation, and also to find and talk to other people who understand what their experiences are. Social media can be great for this when used well, and Facebook presents some very useful means of both raising awareness and finding or offering support.
Awareness About Invisible Illnesses
In terms of public awareness, some conditions are generally very well known about, at least in terms of what they vaguely are, if not in terms of how they truly affect people, and some are a lot less well publicized. This is the case whether these illnesses are visible physically or not. People tend to be much more aware of breast cancer, thanks to campaigning, than they are about pancreatic cancer, for instance. Awareness about ALS was very low before a certain viral campaign. With invisible illnesses, it is the same. Most people know something about diabetes or asthma, but far less about fibromyalgia. The awareness levels don’t often match the frequency of the illness, either - though very common conditions like depression do tend to get a lot of coverage, mainly because of their high frequency. Posting on Facebook can help raise awareness on Facebook with the people you know and raise the general public awareness level for a given condition if enough people do it (as happened with ALS).
What Is Helpful To Post?
By posting about invisible illnesses, you are either aiming to educate people who don’t know much about them or support people who are sufferers. What you post really should aim to meet one of these two goals. It can be unhelpful to post something that offers no real information, especially when it is about a condition people are already ‘aware’ of. ‘Share this heart for people with diabetes’ doesn’t achieve much, but a post about the early symptoms of type 2 diabetes might. Similarly, when posting to offer support to people who are struggling with an illness, something that offers practical advice or a genuinely inspirational quote (you can find good quotes at examinedexistence.com) is preferable to something with no real depth or point to it that seems like share-bait.
Remember that invisible illness is a part of your life and one you want to help people understand, but it isn’t the only part of your life. If you find all you are really posting about is your cause, then this may be off-putting to your followers, so it may be best if you have a lot to say to start a specific page or group related to your condition and use that to raise awareness and support instead of your own profile.