Saturday INvisible Health Spotlight

Hiya all!

Today is the first installment of the INvisible health spotlight - stories of your health, of the health of your loved ones, children, friends and family.

The idea behind INvisible is to:

  • Raise awareness of a wide range of illnesses, disabilities and medical complaints, many of which you can't tell just by looking at a person.
  • Empower you to talk about your illness(es) in a place where you won't be judged.
  • Reduce stigma about illness which is especially important as currently the UK Government are doing their best to paint the sick and disabled as work-shy scroungers.
  • Personalise illness with names and faces. The Government wants to reduce us to one bunch of people all tarred with the same brush so it makes the public easier to hate us.
  • Make the general public aware of the challenges chronically ill people face daily.
  • But also show that being ill doesn't define us and we can still be interesting, vibrant people.


This week we have RDC who wants to tell us about her partial sightedness, depression and the bullying she suffered at school.

I am partially sighted. It's awful and I have been like this since I was 3 years old. My eyesight has gradually gone from bad to worse. I wore very thick glasses in school. When they got dirty, my Grandma used to clean them for me and I'd cry because I couldn't see anything. It made her feel very sorry for me. She tried to help me clean my glasses so I'd know my eyesight was nearer me. 

Basically, the scale for eyesight is mostly -20 to +20 on the scale in opticians. I am the only person in Bexhill with the highest eyesight. And there are a lot of old people in Bexhill. 0 is considered to be the perfect vision. I'm a +10 in both eyes. It's highly difficult to get my contact lenses. I have them specially ordered in. I can only wear one type of contact lenses out of the ranges because most company only go up to a -6 or +6 prescription.

 I have to take out my "eyes" when swimming or wear really expensive goggles. I have to have a larger text on the computer to  see what I'm reading/writing. When I take out my "eyes" at night, I have to get my partner to read out the text or time when I am not wearing my glasses.

Not wearing anything, what I see is like looking through frosted glass. I cannot see expressions, details or patterns. There is no known problems with eyesight in my family. So how I've ended up like this is a mystery. I hate it, I cannot have laser eye surgery because 1. Mother wouldn't pay for it 2. My eyes are too inverted to be lasered. 

 Most of living like this has caused my depression. I had it throughout school because of being bullied and having no backup. My parents never believed what happened to me in school. Not even when someone stole my glasses off my face and threw them across the playground. I was 14 and devastated that people were like this to me 5-6 days a week. Even out of school, people would terrorise me at home when the parents were away working. 

 My depression got diagnosed in 2008 when I turned 18. I refused to take pills. I took counselling for 8 months but it never came through. I soon pushed everything back but every now and then, the depression would flare up again. Some days I couldn't get out of bed. 

 My depression has come back worse in 2010. My best friend was near death. I had found out my ex was cheating on me and my parents wanted nothing to do with what was happening in my life. I was living alone and felt I had nothing left. I broke down infront of my best friend the night she came back from the hospital. I felt so selfish and angry with myself for doing so. When getting like this stressed and upset causes me to get gastroenteritis. That is a stomach problem where period pains, vomiting, pooping hurt and you even have trouble moving.  I took a lot of work off this year due to being very depressed. Work were just as helpful as my parents. 

I have kept my depression and lack of eyesight to a minimum around others and family. I never talk about it on Facebook because there are idiots on there who make fun. I never mention it at work. Only my close friends know about my depression but not into so much detail as I have not told anyone. This is only scratching the surface. 

RDC, Bexhill, East Sussex


You don't think of extreme partial-sightedness as something the young suffer from. Thanks to RDC for being the first to share with us and remind us that often the last person we'd expect to have XYZ problem does, and suffers silently with it. This is why it's so important to talk.

I would also like to say a big, hearty EFF YOU! to bullies.

Thanks for reading.