A mum from Kilcreggan has launched a campaign highlighting the upset and humiliation often caused to people with hidden disabilities.

Bev Burns says the public are often abusive to blue badge holders who show no outward sign of being disabled.

Bev, who has a blue badge herself, says this happens when people who look 'normal' park in disabled spaces or use disabled toilets.

She says she regularly gets filthy looks, tutting and eye-rolling from people unaware of her disabilities caused by chronic pain.

She said: "If they see me walking away from my car in a disabled space they think I am 'normal' and that I have borrowed someone's blue badge to use for my own convenience."

The mum of three who runs her own photography business has now launched a Facebook page called "Smiling Through" with the aim of stopping people like herself being abused.

Bev has also launched a petition calling for changes to the traditional disabled signs which carry a wheelchair logo because, she points out, many people with disabilities do not always need to use a wheelchair.

She said: "The wheelchair sign can be misleading and should carry an A for 'accessible' or 'adapted' - indicating it is for those who have a need for specially adapted equipment or spaces.

"Surely if this was changed, and some specialist promotions and education campaigns were run with it, the abuse would end?

"We are not all abusing the system, we are genuine, and we need this!

"This is not about sympathy, this is about simple awareness and getting us all out the house and back to some sort of life with out conflict."

Bev, 39, suffers from fibromyalgia with joint hyperactivity which causes constant pain.

She said: I have pain in every part of my body which keeps me off my sleep. This is not a faddy illness - there is no cure no one knows how to deal with this in the NHS."

Bev says she understands why some people react as they do when they see someone with no obvious disability using a blue badge.

"They think they are doing the right thing by commenting or tut-tutting and that they are standing up for disabled people.

"They think the badge has been borrowed. Disabled people have to answer rigorous and humiliating questions when they apply for a badge so they are not going to let someone borrow it."

Bev points to the fact that there are dozens of conditions which cause "hidden disabilities", including multiple sclerosis, diabetes, asthma, Crohn's Disease, autism and chronic fatigue syndrome.

She says: "Not everyone is aware that disability doesn't always take the form of someone in a wheelchair, or even using a frame or stick.

"That doesn't mean that they are any less entitled or of need of this very special badge or use of special facilities.

"I choose the name Smiling Through for the campaign, as that commonly says it all about us with invisible disabilities.

"My case is nothing in comparison to many others who have had serious confrontation in front of their children.

"Others have had abuse leaving a disabled toilet, mothers with disabled children often experience conflict, and I have heard many more equally horrendous stories - it's completely disgusting."

Now she is hoping her campaign will win widespread support among the public and politicians.

"I hope everyone will help spread the word that this is a very real concern to many disabled people."

There is a link to Bev's petition on her "Smiling Through" Facebook page.