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The Challenges Faced by People with an “Invisible” Illness

Your workers’ compensation case may be a simple one if you slip and fall at work or are injured by faulty machinery and break your wrist or suffer a concussion. Physical injuries that can be seen or confirmed by bloodwork or an x-ray are usually easy to prove. However, as we at the Law Offices of Gallner & Pattermann, P.C., are aware, a workers’ compensation claim involving an invisible illness can be much more difficult for Iowa residents.

What is an invisible illness? According to Everyday Health, this is a condition that is not easily seen or detected. Fibromyalgia, post-traumatic stress disorder, lupus, Lyme disease, depression and long-term head injury symptoms all fall under the category of invisible illnesses. As you are aware, some of these conditions can be work-related, especially PTSD, depression and other psychological effects of a toxic workplace environment or traumatic work-related experience.

You may be certain that your job-related psychological injury is affecting your ability to work and enjoy life, but others may not be convinced. Your employers, co-workers, friends, family and even doctors may not believe you are suffering. They might tell you it is all in your head, or that you should have recovered by now. Some medical professionals may be hesitant to issue a mental injury diagnosis or could misdiagnose you, which would likely impact your workers’ compensation claim or ability to receive handicap services.

Psychological injuries can be complex, sensitive and challenging to prove in a workers’ compensation claim. It may be necessary to seek experienced counsel when you are dealing with an invisible illness, as our page explains.