Hidden Disabilities Time To Fight Back

I was wondering if anyone has a hidden disability on the forum ? Over the course of the last few years I have been subject to a tirade of abuse and discrimination just because people cannot see my disability. Its about time people with HD's opened up a frank debate on the issues faced by thousands of people in this country. What are you experiences of everyday life with a hidden disability? I'm personally fed up to the high teeth of peoples ignorance and the government are doing little to address these issues as well .


  • You have only got to read the thread in the discussion forum regarding the new sickness benefit rules to see peoples attitudes to mental illness. Enough to make you feel like a leaper. I don't think it is ever going to change.
  • brilliant idea for a thread,

    There is nothing worse than being challenged by some idiot who doesn't know what they're talking about.
    A classic one is york university library where everyone else gets to go through an automatic door but If you use the disabled parking bays you have to ask for 'permission' to enter or exit (a bit liked the 'coloured' entrances in 1950's america) often if you don't look ill enough they make you wait, I've been made to stand for 5 minutes whilst an assistant gave me evils through the glass and then challenged me when I was finally allowed through. Things have got better since I challenged her but
    it made me very reluctant to use the library again.
  • GlasweJenGlasweJen Forumite
    7.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    My disability is hidden. I get funny looks when i use my bus pass and shop keepers never believe that it's my pacemaker setting off their alarm.
  • bluedogbluedog Forumite
    502 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    There are so many people with so many hidden illnesses that I think this will be a very long thread!! I'm sure we've all heard something along the lines of the line "but you look don't look ill!"

    Disability parking bays ..... a friend of mine had the *best* comment I've heard yet. She is in her 30's and has hidden illnesses. They pulled up into the bay and before having time to reach for her badge, an elderly gent opened the drivers door (she's the passenger) to begin a lecture on mis-use of disabled facilities. Somewhat dumb-founded by this and not getting a chance to get a word on, she casually picked up her badge and held it up photo facing him (not nastily) as he continued his tirade. The gent faltered and spluttered before sayig in meeker tones ... "but you're too young to be disabled". I've even been road-raged by an elderly person for a bay. I was waiting for the person to leave it, indicator flashing my intention but as soon as they pulled clear, the other driver whipped into it, glaring at me as he did so.

    I am small, have various things going on in my body and my mobility is affected. I was forever being bumped into so I took to using a walking stick as much for need of it as a way to let people know I have problems. It helps a lot though it's surprising how many times I still get clattered into.

    The harder one is being deaf. I've lost count of the amount of times I've been hung up on in phone calls when asking the caller to talking slower and clearly as I'm hearing impared/deaf. Also, strangers tend to think I'm joking when asking them to repeat what they've said. Either that, or they treat you as if you are stupid, ignorant and thick.
  • I often experience problems with disabled parking bays too - like Bluedog's friend, it seems I'm considered too young to have a genuine reason to use them! The worst culprits seem to be the senior generation; I've lost count of the times I've been tutted or gestured at - I just tend to make a very visible show of getting my badge out of the glove compartment.

    The best, though, was just yesterday when I used a different train station to my normal one. A member of staff, who happened to be walking across the car park, stopped me from going into the disabled bay - he waved his arms to let me know it was a 'no-no' and pointed me to the main body of the car park. I smiled sweetly (through gritted teeth) and carried on, at which point he then shouted to tell me to go through to the main car park, that this was a disabled bay and I couldn't park there... I carried on anyway and parked up. He then stormed over to the car, still shouting at me, at which point I opened the window and thrust my card in his face. As with Bluedog's friend, he was most apologetic but, as I told him, the damage had been done - as a woman on her own, I found his bullying attitude unacceptable. I asked for his name, which he did give me - I'm seriously thinking about making a formal complaint....

    Grrrrrr :mad: Drives me mad!!!
    Celebrate diversity!
  • My son is ASD, he does not have a blue badge or anything but I don't really take him anywhere as when he has tantrums , hit me or runs off it just makes it look like I cannot control him.

    There is not enough understanding of Autism in this day and age.

    There was a lovely couple on BBC news last week who are campaigning for more understanding on autism and what parents of autistic children have to go through.
  • jay11_2jay11_2 Forumite
    3.7K Posts
    I don't have a disability but just wanted to offer my support. I read the 'disability' thread, and the attitudes of a few posters, with growing outrage and disbelief. From what I've seen, mental/hidden issues/disabilities can be more debilitating than some physical disabilities. Guess it's a reminder to us all not to judge a book by its' cover.

    It's a shame that judgemental idiots cause so many problems with stigma, etc. could feel sorry for them otherwise, they must miss out on knowing and loving such a rich and wide variety of the wonderful individuals in our society.
  • jaxw17jaxw17 Forumite
    26 Posts
    I have said for a long time that the badge should be displayed with the photo showing that would also stop abuse of the badge by being used by "family members"
  • There are lots of issues, not just with blue badges - we get the passes to get to the front of theme park queues but my kids have overheard people screaming 'what the f*** do they think they are doing' at them.

    I do not want a blue badge as I do not think we need one, however, I would like to be able to apply for a badge for the window for the supermarket so I can park closer as when we go to Tesco we have to park miles away and it is hard pushing the trolley while holding onto my son as he runs off if he is not strapped into the trolley. I just do not take him out too much, but it would be nice to know I could do this.
  • ikkle87ikkle87 Forumite
    8.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    I am 21 and have Ankylosing Spondylitis as well as other issues but because I am so young people frown on me. Like on the bus if I don't offer my seat for other people I get snotty remarks and tutted at because 'in their day and age people gave up seats' I would quite happily give my seat up if standing for the 35 minute journey home wasn't gonna mean I would struggle and be in pain for the rest of the day. It isn't fair and it does get to me. I have also had people comment on how I walk the worst being a woman saying 'look at that girl she walks like she's !!!!!! herself', my granddad overheard this though and not being one to keep quiet especially when it comes to me he had a go at her.
    You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.

    xx Mama to a gorgeous Cranio Baby xx
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