I really wanted to get into this topic about invisible illness and mental health is something I am generally interested in. It's hard to wrap my brain around some of the stigma that comes from any invisible disorder. For some disclosure I have Autism. And I don't have the fun Rain Man Autism. I don't have the type of Autism, that Autism Speaks and other media coverage likes to milk for sad sympathy points. I have the type of Autism most people don't cover or talk about. Because it's not sexy to talk about it. I appear functioning and intelligent. I can speak and cook for myself. And I am not borderline mentally retarded. But I was diagnosed late, not even a year. I was recently diagnosed back in November of 2015. And it makes a bunch of sense. All the behavior I displayed as a kid. I displayed as an adult. I finally had a name to the reason why I was the way I was. And that was a sense of relief. But because of all this negative stigma and all of this media coverage. People make this assumption, that my Autism cannot be bad because I am smart. Or they assume I got help when I was a kid. I grew up in the late 80s, early 90s. When Autism was not very prevalent. So every behavior I displayed as a kid that today would scream super Autistic kid. Screamed bad kid with lots of behavioral problems. I did not get the help to recognize my triggers. I did not get socially integrated very well. I was ostracized. I was socially isolated. And I have no training. Because no one trained me. I am working on it. I go to therapy. I am part of an Autism social group. But people have this weird assumption that I can just get over it. It doesn't matter. And that I am just allowing myself to behave this way. Sometimes I can catch my behavior and take a seat back. Sometimes I react, rather than think about something. And I don't know all of my triggers for meltdowns or triggers for when I am going to behave in a certain way. I know some of them. And I know I am talking a lot about Autism, but it's what I have and it explains so much of my behavior. But I know there are other people out there. With real depression, we're not talking I can talk myself out of this rut depression. But depression. And other invisible disorders, physical or mental. Who are told to shut up and deal with it. That there's this stigma that anyone can just fake an invisible disorder. But if people were seriously educated on certain disorders. Those symptoms are very hard to fake. And these disorders really do disrupt our daily lives. And it's even more disruptive when people just think you magically can change overnight. I have always asked people, if you saw a man with a cane and a limp, would you tell he wasn't trying hard enough to run? I am working on getting SSI which is a horribly slow system. That technically is even worse for those with invisible disorders. Because it's system that treats people like they are liars. It's a system created by those who do not know what these disorders really are and believe in this hype that people who go through the SSI system are lying people who want to cheat and be lazy and not earn their money or don't want to work. No one wants to be degraded. No one wants to be belittled and this system in the end of the day is exhausting. And it's harmful for the mental health of anyone with a disability. No one realizes how much of a struggle it really is try and make my own path. Where opportunities like SSI and Foodstamps and even assistant programs for housing become also obstacles. Where I have to struggle through bureaucratic bullshit to ask for a decent life. So I suppose I ranted long enough. What are your takes on invisible disorders, like autism or chronic pain syndrome or even depression, etc? How do you think we change the views of other people? Do you want the views of invisible disorders to change? Why or why not?