Adjusting to life with a disability can be a difficult transition. We all tend to take our health for granted—until it’s gone. Then, it’s all too easy to obsess over what we’ve lost. But while you can’t go back in time to a healthier you or wish away your limitations, you can change the way you think about and cope with your disability. You are still in control of your life! There are many ways you can improve your independence, sense of empowerment, and outlook. No matter your disability, it’s entirely possible to overcome the challenges you face and enjoy a full—and fulfilling—life.
Even with a
temporary disability, like a sprained ankle, you have to come up with a
method of adjusting to, adapting to and accepting your situation. That doesn’t
mean you have to like it, but somehow, you have to find ways to deal with it
and continue to live.
Adjusting to a disability is an ongoing process. It’s one of those things that seem to never really end because with most conditions, they continue to change [evolve], and, can get worse. Sometimes it’s due to complications; sometimes it’s due to getting older and sometimes it’s just due having a bad day.
Anger and Depression: The next phase would be anger and depression, which is an understandable reaction to sudden changes (losses, changes in social status). This phase may include a range of emotional responses: anxiety, withdrawal from others, grief, hostility, self-blame, feelings of worthlessness, and even thoughts of suicide.
Adjustment and Acceptance: The last general phase involves adjustment and acceptance of the disability. In this stage, the person gives up false hopes and has a more realistic sense of adaptation to the new roles based on the disablements. The individual accepts and acknowledges the permanence of the physical disability.