Seminar: How to Live Successfully When No One Understands Your Invisible Illness

when no one understandsMary Siegel

When it comes to your illness, how much should you share about it? Who with? What can you do when you feel like when no one understands? Can you still have quality relationships, despite feeling misunderstood? What are some assumptions those who are illness have about those with invisible illness and how does it affect our relationships? How does how you communicate about your illness determine the nature of your relationships and how you will be perceived? Should you talk about your illness differently to a friend then a co-worker, or should everyone get the same information? Mary tackles these questions and more.

When you are done listening, we appreciate you clicking “like” for Facebook, or Pinning it to Pinterest. We would love to be able to encourage your friends today.

About Mary Siege

Twenty years ago Dr. Paul Donoghue and Dr. Mary Siegel wrote Sick and Tired of Feeling Sick and Tired: Living with Invisible Chronic Illness, Second Edition published by W W Norton. Since then, they have written two more books together: Are You Really Listening?: Keys to Successful Communication and We Really Need to Talk: Steps to Better Communication both published by Sorin Books.

They speak to illness associations and health care provider organizations all over the United States, Canada and the UK. They have appeared on many radio programs in the US and UK, they appeared on the Today show and were featured in the New York Times. Both authors are psychologists in private practice in Connecticut.


  1. Juanita Coy says

    Thank you so much, Mary, to helping me to say the things I need to be saying. Even after 12 years of MS, it is still hard to explain how I feel. May God Bless you!!!!!

  2. Jody Preister says

    There is a whole new group of people that will qualify under invisible illness…those who have survived West Nile Virus. Many, many of us are experiencing residual effects from having West Nile Virus invade our bodies. Many, many of us have “unexplained” illnesses after our infection…and more and more strange things as the years go on. Initially we were told, “Yes, you have been infected…the symptoms should pass with time and you will be fine.” What we are finding out is the virus remains in our system and can possibly re-activate with more severe problems. We are learning that the virus can have a terrible affect on our immune system as well our neurological system. For many of us, it is very frightening and very frustrating. Your talk has been encouraging for me on how to communicate to those who don’t “see” our pain and suffering. Hopefully people will soon realize the reality of what just one little mosquito bite can do.

    • admin says

      Jody,I am so sorry about this obvious dETOUR in life that seems so unfair. yes, I have heard how the virus can have a lot of symptoms for a lifetime. I don’t say this to be discouraging, but yes, always stay on top of it and do not listen to the doctors that minimize the effects. I am glad some of the workshops have been helpful. They will be here for a long time, so come back when a topic comes to mind.

  3. Jody Preister says

    I can’t wait to get your books! I have often told people, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired!” and didn’t even know there was a book by this title!Listening to you and Lisa on this video has been so helpful to me on so many levels. I am rather new in this invisible illness situation, though I was infected with West Nile in 2003, it has only been the past two years that the residual health issues have reached a point of being chronic. I am just learning to manage my pain and understand the way my health has changed. It is a whole different world but I know the sooner I learn to adapt, the better it will be. I am like the willow tree…flexible in the storm…but still standing! Thank you, again, for this message!


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