Invisible – Fibromyalgia Film Closer to the Screen

Invisible - Fibromyalgia Film Closer to the Screen

By Ed Coghlan

It is a film about fibromyalgia - a long overdue treatment of this terrible pain syndrome.

The film is called (appropriately) Invisible: The Film

Desperate to help his mother fight her symptoms, filmmaker Nick Demos (and Tony Award winning producer) meets a young athlete, a human rights advocate, a migrant on disability, and a woman whose life is cut too short – all in different stages of Fibromyalgia.

The film-which is set to be released in 2017-traces how Fibromyalgia affects their careers, dreams, and relationships. It also exposes their fight with insurance and drug companies for proper treatment and how their access to holistic health and education is determined by class and money. Will Nick be able to find answers, or is his mother already a best case scenario in a broken healthcare system?

Sami Jankins is a co-producer of the film, which is moving into post-production.

“We asked every person interviewed for this film, “What is Fibromyalgia?” The answer is never consistent, and for those who don’t have it there is a lack of urgency to find the answer,” she said.

“Why is there no urgency?” she asked.

“The illnesses that no one sees, even more so, illnesses that could potentially trigger or be triggered by all of these other conditions that are indeed fatal. Fibromyalgia has yet to have the limelight because it doesn’t kill you, in the technical sense. But those in the Fibromyalgia community will tell you how deteriorating this syndrome can be if they don’t receive the empathy, the lifestyle education, and the community support that all of their fatal counterparts already get. It continues to be a controversial topic, though millions prove the illness is real and rampant.”

The film, which is moving into post-production has been underwritten by donations. If you’d like to make a tax-deductible donation, you can do so by clicking here.

With Invisible being completely donation-funded, the team hopes that the film will spark enough interest to become a docuseries where we can continue to highlight invisible illnesses that are also stigmatized, lacking notoriety, or completely misunderstood.

When the film is completed, the producers will enter in a number of film festivals next year.

The director and executive producer did a Facebook livestream to answer some questions -

Invisible: The Film can be found on Facebook:

Featured image courtesy of

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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Good day. Can somebody please help me. I don’t have a medical aid and suspect I’ve got fibromyalgia. Ive seen 10 different drs in state facility and each one got a different diagnose. PLEASE I CANT STAND THIS PAIN ANYMORE!! I sometimes feel like making a end to this myself!!!


In my last 12 years I have been disabled for work by chronic under treated pain. Before that I did suffer in pain most if my adult life but managed to work almost 30 years as a reasonably high achiever. I have recently through social media found millions of people, mostly women and so many who are young, who suffer quietly in obscurity. Fibro, MS, Lupus, Lyme, EDS, CRPS, Crohns, and the list goes on…,….. These are beautiful souls who didnt have my “sacrifice the body for ego and adventure” life. These are yoyng mothers and middle aged women who are lonesome and misunderstood after raising kids and being everyday heroes. I earned my chronic pain and the odds caught up with me but these millions of ladies have nothing to show for their suffering. These heroes are on youtube and Instagram and face book just trying to stay in relationship with others and struggling to be understood. This film is important. Our women are suffering. Bravely, quietly suffering.


It’s not invisible. My online support group took off our makeup and took Unmasked pictures. We all have the same look. It’s compelling. Sad. Frightening. Looking forward to the movie.


I think this film will be important for our pain community in general - at the end of the day, many forms are pretty much invisible. Even with MRIs, etc. as “proof,” we are far too often discounted. Bob Schubring, your points about suspicions of psychogenic origin and post-traumatic stress are significant, and could likewise be applied to other conditions. Rhea, my heart goes out to you.

Brett Jones

Anyone who suffers with Fibromyagia knows only to well how it deistates and changes the person that once was, but what is often overlooked is the family of the sufferer’s, my family have been more understanding and supportive than I thought I deserved especily my wife, who goes to family occasions alone or for a night out with friends alone who wants to have a dance with her partner who is not there who sits alone in the evenings and who sacrifices so much to care for the person she once knew. I hope this has been covered in the film as fibromyalgia does not only effect the person diagnosed.


Bravo. Sorely needed to raise awareness of this insidious condition.


When I was diagnosed with FM, I was working for a psychologist. After receiving my diagnosis, I discussed this with my boss. His response was that FM was a “wastebasket” term used by doctors when they don’t know what’s wrong with their patients. I think about this every day. Every day. A psychologist dismissed my illness. He was actually the only person to dismiss my diagnosis. Someone whom I respected and trusted. I had seen his patients change after going through his treatments. I believed in him and he dismissed me. Every day, for over 12 years, I think if his dismissal. Every day.

The concept of invisible illness is a powerful one. Strangers don’t know how someone was, pre-illness, and assume they are looking at what’s normal for that person. In our own work, we’ve taught the skills of self-advocacy by one-on-one engagement with people in pain.

Much nonsense is written about the alleged psychogenic “origins” of FM and CFS. The writers usually miss one point entirely: The patient did not develop post-traumatic stress disorder until she first got sick with FM or CFS, then had to deal with people who doubted her illness and subjected her to much distress by refusing to provide necessary help. Rather than realize that their denial of her pain has caused a complication that harms her mental health, they argue that her illness is all in her head.

For the patient, learning self-advocacy is challenging but liberating. The ridiculous personal attacks that label an FM or CFS patient as imagining they are sick, combined with the exhausting experience of surviving the illness, is a powerful force for conformity. People give up on trying to go on living, because the message they hear, is that life is hopeless.

I think this new film could be a powerful teaching tool.