So-called invisible illnesses like myalgic encephalomyelitis are the exception. Despite the fact that ME causes chronic, debilitating pain, crushing exhaustion not relieved by rest, and greater susceptibility to fatal cancers and heart failure, just to name a few symptoms, many people don't take it seriously. This may have something to do with the name it's commonly called in the US: "chronic fatigue syndrome."
Not taking this disease seriously can have dire consequences. Just ask Karina Hansen, a young Danish woman who was diagnosed with the disease. On February 12, 2013, Karina was forcibly removed from her home—against her wishes and against the wishes of her mother, who was caring for her—and taken to Hammel Neurocenter for psychiatric treatment.
She is still there.
The people at Hammel Neurocenter ignore the medical diagnosis of ME she received, likely because they don't believe ME is real. They refuse to allow her to even obtain a second opinion.
Injustices like this can only persist in a culture of ignorance. I don't know how to help Karina Hansen and others like her except to keep asking people not to be part of the problem.