The Invisible Inspiration

Trisha Rathod
3 min readMay 13, 2021


Image source by Hope to Cope

Every time I tell someone that I have a headache, they immediately empathize with me. They can’t feel even an inch of that pain, but they know exactly what to say and especially what to prescribe. And it is the same for all muscular pain, in fact, it doesn’t matter if you don’t remember feeling that pain yourself, we are still able to care for that person who is suffering. I believe the key here is Relatability.

A few years ago one of my closest friends was diagnosed with Guillan Barre Syndrome (GBS) resulting in her losing partial function of her limbs which apparently is not a rare condition neither is it too difficult to come in contact with, but I couldn’t wrap my head around it. I visited my friend at the hospital, where she seemed completely fine. She was talking and being her usual self, no scarring, no visible changes, there was nothing I could relate to. I followed up with her during her recovery, she went through immense training to achieve a whooping 90% within the first 4 months of being diagnosed. But she was not satisfied, she complained that she needed to go back to her past self and gain complete control over her motor functions, 90% just wasn’t good enough.

When the doctors diagnosed her, she was told that her condition would take a few months to recover from. She was not totally convinced by that, it didn’t seem that severe at the time. Her condition is temporary but the scars, even though invisible in nature are here to stay. So I asked myself,

How might we help individuals relate to the invisible, unimaginable and underlying condition of others?

What can we as Service Designers do to help people empathize with those invisible scars?

Healthcare is so vast and it is present all around us. It is permanent, evolving, and relatable, most of the time. Your health, whether physical or mental can make and break you and since it is so volatile in nature is why I chose this vast umbrella of Healthcare for my Major Project Proposal.

Most often it is not enough for patients to ‘almost’ recover. It is that imminent fear that the condition will return, the pain will follow and the nightmare begins. As much as we as outsiders believe that it takes time for people to move on and it is a process indeed, we don’t know half of it until we experience it ourselves. The worst part being that it doesn’t take much for people to feel insecure either, it can be a mere migraine keeping me from walking in the sun or even as extreme as vertigo, making someone afraid of waking up in the morning. Finding your new self with a new condition can be challenging and it is something I would like to explore.

Stay Tuned!