Bella Hadid opens up about chronic illness, saying it was ‘almost 15 years of invisible suffering’

Bella Hadid walking in a denim bra in a wooded area.
Bella Hadid has shared an Instagram post detailing the myriad health issues she has faced throughout her life.
(Vianney Le Caer / Invision / AP)

Bella Hadid has opened up about a multitude of health issues, including Lyme disease, that she has been battling for more than half of her life.

On Sunday, the 26-year-old fashion model shared an Instagram post that included photos of medical records and a statement reflecting on her experiences with chronic illness.

“The little me that suffered would be so proud of grown me for not giving up on myself,” Hadid wrote in the caption. “Thankful to my mommy for ... sticking by me, never leaving my side, protecting, supporting, but most of all, believing me through all of this.”


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One of the pictured medical documents, dated February 2014, details Hadid’s struggles with dozens of health problems, including fatigue, attention deficit disorder, memory disturbances, depression, sleep disorders, headaches, disequilibrium, nightmares, muscular weakness, chest pain and palpitations. The visit summary notes that Hadid, then 17, “feels ill all the time.”

“Living in this state, worsening with time and work while trying to make myself, my family and the people who support me, proud, had taken a toll on me in ways I can’t really explain,” Hadid wrote.

“To be that sad and sick with the most blessings/privilege/opportunity/love around me was quite possibly the most confusing thing ever. One thing I want to express to you all is that 1: I am okay and you do not have to worry ... and 2: I wouldn’t change anything for the world. If I had to go through all of this again, to get here, to this exact moment I’m in right now, with all of you, finally healthy, I would do it all again. It made me who I am today.”

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The Instagram post also depicted other medical records indicating that multiple types of bacteria spread by parasites — such as borrelia, which causes Lyme disease — have been detected in Hadid’s body since 2014. The runway star has been tested for Lyme disease and “common tick-transmitted co-infections.”

Hadid previously described her experiences with Lyme disease in a TikTok post explaining that the condition tends to flare up and attack vulnerable parts of her body, such as her teeth, jaw, gut, brain, spine, bones and “entire nervous system.”

Hadid concluded her post by thanking her professional team, the companies that have employed her while she was sick, her loved ones, her “genius” doctor and her “incredible team of nurses.”


“The universe works in the most painful and beautiful ways but I need to say that if you are struggling — it will get better. I promise,” Hadid said.

“Stay strong, have faith in your path, walk in your truth and the clouds will start to clear up. I have so much gratitude for and perspective on life, this 100+ days of Lyme, chronic disease, co-infection treatment, almost 15 years of invisible suffering, was all worth it if I’m able to, God willing, have a lifetime of spreading love from a full cup, and being able to truly be myself, for the first time ever.”