Bella Hadid looks back on ‘15 years of invisible suffering’ with Lyme disease

Bella Hadid has shared a candid post reflecting on her health journey as she has lived with Lyme disease since 2012.

The 26-year-old supermodel shared a health update with her 59.3 million followers on Instagram on Sunday (6 August) and said she is “finally healthy” after more than a decade of struggling with her health.

She shared a number of photographs taken during her treatments over the years, showing her receiving drips and injections, laying in hospital beds as nurses gave her medication, and health documents from her medical record.

In her lengthy caption, Hadid wrote: “The little me that suffered would be so proud of grown me for not giving up on myself. Living in this state, worsening with time and work while trying to make myself, my family and the people who support me, proud, has taken a toll on me in ways I can’t really explain.”

“To be that sad and sick with the most blessings/privilege opportunity/love around me was quite possibly the most confusing thing ever,” she reflected.

She reassured fans that she was “OK and you do not have to worry”, and said that despite her struggles, she “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,” Hadid continued.

The model, who was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world this year, “promised” fans who were also struggling that things “will get better”.

“Take a step away, stay strong, have faith in your path, walk your truth and the clouds will start to clear up,” she wrote. “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.”

Hadid explained that she chose photos that were “the most positive” throughout her health journey in an attempt to illustrate how it has been “the most enlightening experience of my life filled with new friends, new visions and a new brain”.

She thanked her mother, Yolanda Hadid, who was also diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2012 alongside her son and Hadid’s younger brother Anwar, for “keeping all of my medical records, sticking by me, never leaving my side, supporting, but most of all, believing me through all of this”.

Hadid also thanked the brands and companies she has worked with, her agents for “protecting me”, and her medical team, adding: “I love you SO much!!!”

She told fans that she would be “back when I’m ready”, adding: “I miss you all so much. I love you all so much.”

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that can be spread to humans by infected ticks and if usually diagnosed based on symptoms, which include fever, headache, fatigue or skin rash, or laboratory testing.

Earlier this year, Hadid spoke about some of the symptoms she gets when her Lyme disease flares up.

In a TikTok video, she said: “My skin changes colour, I break out randomly, I get (what feels like) lesions, lethargy, chronic anxiety, zero motivation or purpose, leaky gut, adrenals, depression.”

She added that she “hates looking in the mirror or taking pictures” of herself because of how the disease impacts her appearance. “If I’m all dolled up, maybe I’ll try for the girls but, man, is it hard to do this as your profession while also feeling/looking sick like this,” she said.