Sudden Disability Is Soul Destroying – disabled and depressed
Sudden disability is soul destroying and finding purpose despite the storm doesn’t come easy. Disability and depression can be a very dark time for an adult who has gone from a totally independent person to one who must now depend on others, all while sinking into the abyss of hopelessness and fear.
Disability And Depression always co-exist, one day you are a seemingly functioning human being, the next –everything you could do just suddenly ends. This is a difficult transition for previously independent adults, who have just found out they will be disabled for the rest of their existence. Adults, who are coping with their disability and depression, a transition at their own pace. Some may feel a shift early on, while others struggle for a very long time. The sudden news of being disabled brings on negative emotions, which quickly leads to depression.
Depression is not a case of self-pity; it is a condition that occurs from feelings of persistent sadness, low self-esteem, and hopelessness.
Physical signs of depression:
Fatigue – sleeping too much or not enough
Pain – with no medical reasons for it
Appetite Changes – comfort eating (overeating) or not eating at all (anorexia nervosa)
Digestive Issues – heartburn, ulcers, constipation or diarrhea
Forgetfulness – misplacing things or forgetting to switch off the oven or turn off the tap
Irritability – getting annoyed easily and lashing out at almost anyone
Suicidal thoughts – the most serious symptom of depression, where the individual feels that the only form of relief will be death itself
The Painful Factors That Cause Depression
1. A Sense of No Direction or Purpose in Life – For anyone who has worked hard all their lives, finding out they have a disability that will limit their career growth, can be a very tumultuous event. The news that you will not be able to go back to work has a massive impact on your self-worth. Honestly, it throws you completely of your life path and you question your purpose in this world.Every.Single.Day.
Disability blogger, Brittany Rogers shares her experience as disabled and depressed. The young 22 years old who blogged on The Mighty:
“I was so angry and so resentful with myself. I felt useless, less than myself. I had to rely on someone to push me to an exhibit I wanted to see when four years ago I was traversing Rome. I called my boyfriend that night sobbing. I had never felt like less”
2. Lack of Self Esteem – when you receive the devastating news that you are disabled, your feelings and the way you see yourself change drastically. You ask yourself “where do I fit into society now?” People with limited mobility have higher levels of depression and low self-esteem than most. Kirstie Edwards, blogger, and person with a disability wrote on The Mighty, saying:
“Life was previously so full that gave me meaning – my job, my role as a mentor, my continuing education, my social life. The void being forced by my body to leave all that behind has felt so difficult to fill”
3. Quality Of Life Decreases – This is a massive struggle for those who have become physically disabled after an accident or brain damage. From one day to the next, your whole world changes. Your doctor delivers the bad news in a neat little box of medical terminology – all you are hearing is “You won’t be able to walk again, you will be paralyzed for the rest of your life”
John Morris, a blogger, and person with a disability wrote on The Mighty, saying:
“I never planned for a life in which I would be unable to walk. I didn’t expect to use a wheelchair or need assistance in completing everyday tasks. I had an oversized and now damaged, ego. The accident and my new disability laid waste to my perception of self. For a time, I was ashamed to be myself, to be disabled. Was I still me?”
4. Bored To Death – There is nothing worse than cabin fever, even able-bodied people feel the brunt of being indoors during stormy weather. You are left all alone with nothing but yourself and your thoughts. All of which leads to depression.
A member of The Mighty community group gives her take on boredom and how she overcomes it:
“Do everything you can to limit cabin fever. I keep many low-maintenance plants. I love to play nature videos on YouTube. There are many that are over three hours long. Almost any landscape you could want. It really helps to bring the outside indoors” – Liberty W
- If you or a loved one is disabled and depressed call Action For The Blind And Disabled at our Roodepoort branch during office hours.