Hidden Disabilities: What's The Truth?

Foreign correspondent Saima Mohsin feared her career had ended after an accident at work left her in agony.

From being a little girl, Saima had always wanted to be a journalist heading round the world to cover major breaking news stories.

And when a two ton jeep ran over her left foot while she was covering the Israeli-Palestinian Gaza “conflict” in 2014, it was assumed that she’d be back on the road some time soon.

But as Saima tells the Tonight Programme her body was wracked with pain for years - and she had to face the prospect of giving up journalism altogether.

She is now registered disabled. But after treatment at an NHS Pain Clinic, she is back on the road, talking to others who, like her, suffer from hidden or invisible disabilities.

People like ace motor racer, Bobby Trundley who has finally got a job - though many other autistic people are not so lucky.

And Evie Toombes, a British para-show jumping champion, who explains the intolerances that those living with a hidden disability might endure.

And there’s model Christine McGuinness, who has three autistic children,  who tells the programme: “I think we all need to remember to be kinder to each other.”

There are 14 million disabled people in the UK and it’s estimated that 80% of them suffer from invisible disabilities, according to James Taylor, of campaigning charity Scope.

He adds: “There’s a misconception that everybody who’s disabled in this country is in a wheelchair, is blind, or has a hearing aid and that couldn’t be further from the truth.”

'Hidden Disabilities: What's The Truth?' is on ITV at 7:30pm this Thursday (5th August).

Useful Contacts

Samaritans - Anyone can contact Samaritans FREE any time from any phone on 116 123, even a mobile without credit. This number won’t show up on your phone bill. Or you can email jo@samaritans.org or visit www.samaritans.org

National Autistic Society - website and help and support section: www.autism.org.uk or https://www.autism.org.uk/what-we-do/help-and-support

Pain Concern - https://painconcern.org.uk/

NHS advice about chronic pain - https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/ways-to-manage-chronic-pain/

Mental health charity Mind - Infoline number is 0300 123 3393, and it’s open from 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. Website: https://www.mind.org.uk/

Alzheimer’s Society: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/ Dementia Connect Support Line on 0333 150 3456.  (open Monday to Wednesday 9am-8pm/ Thursday - Friday 9am 5pm/ Saturday-Sunday 10am-4pm.

Support Dogs - www.supportdogs.org.uk