For a long time before now and even now, in many circles and groups, disability has been something of a taboo. It’s something we don’t talk about in any real way, often until it’s staring us in the face and we have to learn how to deal with it. It’s a big change, and often a difficult one. But by thinking about how to cope with it, we can make living with it a lot easier.
Know what you’re dealing with
Many disabilities are there from birth or a result of an accident or injury. There are others, however, that come in with time. Knowing the signs of disabilities like eye disease, deafness, and back pain that could grow chronic can help us start challenging them a lot sooner and learning the realities of a situation. Beyond getting regularly checked out, it’s also worth looking at your family history and seeing any conditions in your family history that could serve as a risk factor in your own life.
Know what you can do about it
Your doctor is always going to be the first port of call when it comes to treating the symptoms associated with a disability and helping you find ways around it. But there are other groups and organizations that can provide real practical advice. From devices like hearing aids for developing deafness to coping techniques for chronic pain, there is a lot of advice on offer. If you’re diagnosed with a disability, it’s worth looking at groups and organizations near you that can help serve as a support system. Your healthcare providers and family can help, but sometimes getting someone who truly understands what you’re going through can help you find real practical advice for fighting it.
Know how it will change your life
Of course, the difference between disability and other forms of disease or illness is that we don’t consider disability temporary. It requires some changes, which means we have to learn how to understand what our limitations are and how to cope with them. This might mean looking at benefits on offer or modifications we might have to make to the home. Learning to accept our disability and start living with it, not against it, can also help in the next point.
Know the other ways it might affect you
We’ve mostly been tackling the effects of physical disability on your life, and mental disability is another topic deserving a multitude of posts on its own. But it’s also important to be aware of the impact that physical health can have on mental health. Stress, depression, and lowered self-esteem are some very common side-effects of learning to live with a disability. Be aware of the risks and that you might have to face them through counseling or by joining a support group like those mentioned above.
Living with a disability can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to stand in the way of a fruitful, comfortable, and fulfilling life. Being proactive and facing those challenges head-on is going to give you the best chance of getting that.