The Invisible Kingdom
February 11, 2023 12:09 PM - Subscribe

A landmark exploration of one of the most consequential and mysterious issues of our time: the rise of chronic illness and autoimmune diseases.

A silent epidemic of chronic illnesses afflicts tens of millions of Americans: these are diseases that are poorly understood, frequently marginalized, and can go undiagnosed and unrecognized altogether. Renowned writer Meghan O’Rourke delivers a revelatory investigation into this elusive category of “invisible” illness that encompasses autoimmune diseases, post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, and now long COVID, synthesizing the personal and the universal to help all of us through this new frontier.

Drawing on her own medical experiences as well as a decade of interviews with doctors, patients, researchers, and public health experts, O’Rourke traces the history of Western definitions of illness, and reveals how inherited ideas of cause, diagnosis, and treatment have led us to ignore a host of hard-to-understand medical conditions, ones that resist easy description or simple cures. And as America faces this health crisis of extraordinary proportions, the populations most likely to be neglected by our institutions include women, the working class, and people of color.

(blurb from the publisher's website)
posted by gentlyepigrams (1 comment total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
O'Rourke's story isn't my story (I had a diagnosis before I reached adulthood and also had a parent to act as medical advocate for me because I was still in high school) but it resonated with my experience as a patient with chronic autoimmune problems. If you or your loved one are dealing with one of these mystery illnesses, this book is worth your time.
posted by gentlyepigrams at 12:12 PM on February 11

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