How to Deal Emotionally with a Disability

man in wheelchair overlooking oceanA newly diagnosed disability can alter a person’s world. An individual with a disability might no longer be able to perform tasks they once did so quickly and easily. A lack of control over one’s body can lead to depression and grief. It is true that life will be different. But it is up to you to make sure that you live your life to the fullest.

The first best thing you can do is embrace your grief. It is not easy to accept a new disability, but eventually, you have to come to terms with what has happened. You do not have to go at it alone. Talk to your family and friends; you might even consider talking to a psychiatrist. It is important to surround yourself with a good support system. There is no hurry. You make progress at your own pace.

The second thing that can be done is to make sure you become familiar with your environments. Become organized with your space and memorize what paths around your home are easiest and quickest for you. Have designated places for your belongings, it will relieve the stress of everyday life. It is also not a bad idea to keep yourself healthy with regular exercise.

Disabilities require accommodations for your lifestyle. An example includes those in wheelchairs; you should know that a wheelchair does not fit through a regular door. It would be necessary to find a contractor that can switch out door hinges.

The third thing to realize is that strangers and even family members might treat you differently. When you have been newly diagnosed (and even after some time has past) there will be individuals who will go out of their way to accommodate you. Understand that they are trying to act in your best interest. Accept their help if you truly need it, but otherwise, learn to become self-sufficient. Being self-sufficient will return to you your independence that you might have felt had been lost.

Additionally, be conscious that people might appear nervous around you because they are not sure how to act. Make it clear to them that you are capable of doing tasks just as they are. Do not act rudely towards them, but make it clear that your disability doesn’t demand special attention. Respect yourself and others will respect you. Do not feel that you owe every stranger a smile or an explanation.

The fourth thing that should be considered is joining a local support group for individuals with similar disabilities as yourself. The group will help you in your day-to-day life by reminding you that you are not alone. Hearing each other’s stories will make you realize that people with disabilities are like everyone else. You might even receive good life advice from others who have already gone through your situations.

It is important to remember that your life does not have to be limited because of your disability. You can have a long, happy, and successful future. It all begins with you.

Sources: WikiHow and 1800Wheelchair

Photo Credit: Dominik Golenia via Creative Commons