I’ve battled depression for many years, and it became increasingly worse during my time serving in the military. Particularly as a single person, there’s no one in my life to pick up the extra “slack” when I’m not feeling energetic. But sometimes, I’m able to hide away and care for myself, especially since I’m self-employed, [working] from home.In fact, at this point, I’m really not able to work outside the home.Seeing a therapist regularly has been a huge help for me.

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Now I’m a line cook, a session musician and I work in a record store. I look at my Civil War-era fretless banjo that I had to get and spend hours learning to play. Having a stable support system has been crucial for me.

I think about all the other instruments that I impulsively bought, too. Being able to talk things out with my wife has been super helpful.

Everyone has that image of a cancer patient without hair, thin and pale.

Once treatment ends and your hair and eyebrows start coming back, everyone around you acts like everything is normal again, but you live with a deep anxiety and distrust of your body.

Or sometimes my body feels fine, but my head is too foggy or sluggish to operate as is required.

Coping with the conditions was especially hard when I didn’t own a car, and I was very poor. Now that I own a car, it’s still frustrating, because I’ll make plans, and sometimes I have to cancel at the last minute because I’m experiencing symptoms.

I started feeling exhausted all the time, with strange headaches and swelling in my neck.

Multiple doctors told me it was just a sinus infection.

The most challenging aspect is feeling like I should be more capable.

Sometimes my mind is clear, but my body doesn’t cooperate.

It’s estimated that nearly 10 percent of the United States population has a disability or illness that goes unseen ― from chronic pain to mental health conditions.