The Lowdown: Hidden Disabilities

Not all disabilities are visible. Let’s talk hidden disabilities…

When we think of disability, we often think of those that are visible and obvious to others. It’s important to remember that not all disabilities are like this. In fact, there’s an almost exhaustive list of disabilities that can’t be seen but have a huge impact on a person’s day-to-day life. Hidden disabilities are sometimes known as invisible disabilities or non-visible disabilities.

Types Of Hidden Disabilities

There’s a wide range of hidden disabilities. These include:

  • Mental health conditions (bipolar depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia etc.)
  • Speech impairments
  • Hearing loss/deafness
  • Autism and Asperger’s
  • Respiratory conditions
  • Tourette Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic pain
  • Epilepsy
  • Diabetes
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • ADD and ADHD
  • Crohn’s and colitis

There are many more hidden disabilities, and they all have the same things in common – namely, that they are not immediately obvious and that they affect a person’s life in a significant way. A person who has a hidden disability can face many challenges every single day because their disability is not immediately apparent to others.


Just because you can’t see something, doesn’t mean it’s not there. People who have a hidden disability often wear the Sunflower lanyard to indicate to others that they have an invisible condition and may require a little extra help and support when they’re going about their daily lives. The Sunflower lanyard asks others to be understanding, patient and kind with the wearer so that when they’re doing their shopping, boarding a flight or at their work, they can do so without negative responses from others. To learn more about the lanyard and to find nearby Sunflower-friendly venues, click here.

Can I Wear The Sunflower Lanyard?

If you feel you would benefit from wearing the Sunflower lanyard, then definitely do so. There’s no ‘qualifying’ list of disabilities you have to meet – it’s for anyone who feels it can help them. You can also purchase a Sunflower card to carry with you, if you’d prefer. These can be customised to show the details of your hidden disability, such as ‘I have Tourette Syndrome’ or ‘I have ADHD’. Visit the shop here.

To find out more about hidden disabilities and the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, click here.


Related Posts

Download the App

Hidden strength the go – to, advice + support portal for 13 – 24 year olds designed to provide accessible and immediate support and chat-based therapy from qualified therapists to any young people who may be struggling with their mental wellbeing, completely for free.