Living with chronic illness can be lonely, which is why it’s important to find others who understand what you’re going through.
When you need to recharge and practice self-care, it often helps to have tools to take your mind away from reality for a little while. But sometimes, looking at reality —and turning to others who have been in your shoes — is helpful.
Many people living with chronic illness, use their experience to educate others and bring awareness to their conditions. As a result, this tends to foster a sense of community for many who may be struggling. Sharing your story with others has the ability to bring comfort to others living with chronic conditions and start meaningful conversations.
Here are 15 Instagrammers who live with chronic illness and share their lives in various ways.
1. Ardra Shephard (@ms_trippingonair)
If you struggle with confidence while using a mobility aid, you may want to take a look at Ardra Shephard’s Instagram. Shephard is a prominent figure in the #babeswithmobilityaids movement. She lives with multiple sclerosis and uses her page to show that it is perfectly fine to use mobility aids of any kind.
2. Laura Armenta (@chronicsadgirlsclub)
Interested in how using cannabis can help with chronic illness? Laura Armenta’s Instagram is a great place to start. Armenta began Chronic Sad Girls Club in “response to the continuous lack of representation and support for mentally and chronically ill femmes of color who medicate with cannabis.” She shows the reality of living with chronic illness while advocating for the use of medical cannabis.
Related: 15 Badass Sick People Throughout History
3. Claire Nakazawa (@service.angel.percie)
For those who wonder what having a service dog is like, Claire Nakazawa is a great person to follow. Nakazawa chronicles life as a spoonie and service dog handler. Her eloquently worded posts speak to the reality of living with chronic illness. She also uses her page to educate others on the role service dogs play for their handlers.
4. Jameisha Prescod (@youlookokaytome)
Humor is often hard to come by in the chronic illness community, but Jameisha Prescod’s content is light-hearted while being educational, and generally refreshing. Prescod uses her Instagram to give insight into her life with lupus. She also creates relatable videos that can demonstrate the frustrations of living with a chronic illness.
5. Michael Towers (@chronichealingblog)
Michael Towers is an Australian chronic illness blogger who gives an in-depth look at myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome. Alongside his blogging account, he has developed one for a little comic entitled, “Chronic Fatigue Superhero” — a character that demonstrates the feats those with chronic illness accomplish.
6. Christina Doherty (@watercolor_me_impressed)
Christina Doherty’s colorful Instagram has amassed quite a following. She provides a raw look into life with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) and tries to spread positivity even during tough times. In addition, she shares recipes that are easily adaptable for food sensitivities.
7. Lauren Vasko (@lauren.vasko)
Instagram content can be redundant from time to time, but Lauren Vasko’s page offers a fun reprieve. While Vasko talks about her own experiences with chronic illness as well as her Christian faith. A pretty neat component of her account is that she creates bingo boards for various illnesses and disorders. All you do is mark your symptoms on a screenshot of the bingo and upload it to your story with #chronicillnessbingo. Don’t forget to tag her!
8. Jess Paulsen (@henryshandler)
A bold voice you should follow is Jess Paulsen. Paulsen gives a massive audience a glimpse into life with a service dog on her other account, @kinghenryofnashville. This account, however, serves to inform others of her own conditions (POTS and EDS for example) in more detail. She doesn’t shy away from telling it how it is, and sometimes we need to hear it.
9. Julian Van Horne (@thedisabledhippie)
A familiar face here at The Mighty, Julian Van Horne advocates for both the disability and LGBTQ+ communities. Though he takes on tough topics, Van Horne uses trigger warnings to help his followers prioritize their mental health and decide whether they want to continue reading.
10. Ariel L. (@carpe_that__diem)
Ariel lives with fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s. He often collaborates with Julian Van Horne and, like Van Horne, focuses his content on living with a chronic illness as a trans individual and service dog handler.
11. Ellen Inouye (@mysteryelles)
12. Ijmal Razi Haider (@raziblog)
Speaking from experience, it is difficult to find people from South Asian communities that openly discuss their experiences with chronic illness. That’s why more voices like Ijmal Haider’s are needed in the chronic illness community. Hailing from Canada with Pakistani roots, Haider lives with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). His Instagram is full of beautiful, bright photos, as well as pictures of his treatments and hospital visits.
13. Alisha M. Bridges (@alishambridges)
If you’re looking for both style inspiration and chronic illness advocacy in one place, give Alisha M. Bridges a follow. Bridges’ Instagram radiates a fashionista vibe, as she uses the platform to spread awareness about psoriasis.
14. Zoe Mckenie (@activelyautoimmune)
If you want some motivation to get your exercise routine going, take a peek at physiotherapist and Pilates instructor Zoe Mckenie’s Instagram. Mckenie lives with EDS, Lupus, and bladder pain. Her content is a happy medium between exercise and education. Because of her own experience, her instructional videos are catered to spoonies.
15. Krithika Reddy (@bigkrits)
Krithika Reddy is an Indian model who is open about her experience living with endometriosis. While a lot of her content is about her modeling career, she also shares her personal story and endeavors in activism.