Type 1 Diabetes as an Invisible Disability from a Medical, Societal, and Theological Perspective




Rice, Lizzy

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Invisible disability refers to disabilities that are more inconspicuous allowing people who identify under this term to better blend into everyday society. Type 1 Diabetes, an autoimmune deficiency affecting the pancreas’ ability to produce insulin, is considered an invisible disability, but little research has been conducted to explore the impact of Type 1 Diabetes as an invisible disability in terms of identity. This thesis argues that the Type 1 Diabetic identity is constructed from three main perspectives––medical, societal, and theological. The medical perspective introduces and centers around the rhetoric of control and its usage by medical professionals and the biotechnology communities when advertising Type 1 Diabetic equipment. The societal narrative focuses on the rhetorical effect of the similar naming of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes and how it contributes to the notions of control and management. Lastly, the theological perspective offers an alternative narrative for the Type 1 Diabetic identity based upon an exegesis of Psalm 23 and the usage of story.



Type 1 Diabetes., Invisible disability., Rhetoric of control., Disability theology., Identity.