I mean, I know that disability was not as well understood as it is today and people with disabilities were not treated well, but do we have much of an idea of what it was like for those who experienced things we might know to be autoimmune diseases (or something generally similar) today, but at the time were not known about? Because many chronic illnesses are not clearly visible and are even difficult for doctors to identify with the tools and technology we have today, and chronic illnesses like autoimmune diseases can often be severe enough to impact functioning in a significant way, leaving them unable to work, but not in a way that is so significant people need significant caretaking. How would this be treated (both in attitude and in method) in the 1930s—1940s? Do we have much of an idea of what a chronically ill person's life was like?

I ask about this specific time period due to the combination of the Depression and WWII effecting the health of citizens, as well as the fact that WWI had already taken place, raising some public awareness to physical disabilities in returning soldiers.

I've struggled to find information on this. I am particularly interested in the US and UK, but I'm happy to learn about any country.

Source: reddit post


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