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The Traumatising Troubles of a Disability

The Traumatising Troubles of a Disability

I'm first going to start off by saying, that I may not be a disabled person myself, but as an aspiring doctor, I've been to a handful of practices and talked to many disabled this article, I'm also going to try and stay away from using disability as much as possible, as I understand that this word could bring about some bad memories for people. Having a disability is hard and not many people understand the emotional and physiological effects of actually being disabled. Yes, the effects vary from one condition to another and one person to another, but we can talk about these effects universally. But I am just using this piece to raise awareness of the people who are actually disabled and the struggles that they may go through.

What does it mean to be disabled?

The common misconception around being disabled is that people think being disabled means that you are wheelchair-bound, and can't do day to day activities by yourself. But, that is not the case, in most cases, you may even know someone who is disabled. The actual definition from NHS employers disability act says "a disabled person is someone who has a physical or mental impairment that has an adverse and substantial effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities" or "the effect of the impairment is long term (has lasted for 12 months, is likely to last for at least that period, or is likely to last the rest of that person's life, or in the case of a past disability if the effect is likely to be recurrent)." But the best definition that I found was from someone called Kayla-Lea a former Aged Care Assistant her definition of disabled stated "It means to be the opposite of able. Mentally, physically, are both different. One could say disabled means the opposite of what society deems as normal." So as you can see, being disabled isn't about what you physical only but its mental too. This can lead to very serious effects on the way you think and act, things that you do in you're day to day life becomes a challenge and not only do you have to subsidise on things you do it means you need to ask others for help. Which is always the hardest thing to do as a human.

The Struggles of being a handicapped person

The main issue that seems to always come up when talking with this socio-economic group of people is they all suffer some sort of sadness or depression. Depression is when you have a persistent sadness that isn't going away, a lack of interest in day to day activities such as hobbies and work that a person normally enjoys. You can also get depression from not being able to carry out tasks that you normally were able to do, therefore deeming you disabled. The world health organisation stated that "About 15% of the world's population lives with some form of disability" which is equal to 1.17 billion people living with a disability ranging from the very minimal things to the more severe cases. If you see a loved one who is disabled all you have to do is talk to them, tell them about things that they could do while being unable to complete day to day tasks.

Another statement that seems to appear a lot when talking to people about their disability is that they are always being reminded of being disabled. Just because they're disabled doesn't mean they need help all the time. Yes, it's nice to do the odd thing but these people don't appreciate you treating them as a child, it causes embarrassment and it's patronising towards them. I find that most if not all disabled people like to live their life as if they aren't disabled, so they may look to other things that don't rely on being disabled like playing games or maybe simply just reading books. When talking to a medical professional she told me about how one of the patients she works with plays Minecraft to help her forget about being disabled, she builds things like flowers (she was a florist before becoming disabled) and much more. There are other things like if a building isn't handicapped friendly
"I believe that feeling irritation towards those expressing disablist views is a futile act. It’s self-defeating to allow perspectives that stem from a lack of understanding or empathy to occupy me. But sometimes it’s unavoidable. It’s frustrating when people see physical disability as anything other than a few logistical difficulties that I have to be creative with and find ways around. It doesn’t define my motivations, ambition and identity, so why should anyone have this preconception?" - Lottie Jackson

Another struggle would be people. People who aren't disabled don't understand what it means to be disabled. Parents shunning away their children, driving fear into each Childs mind and tell their child to be thankful they aren't like "those people". This is what kills the stigma of helping others, instead of embracing the fact that people have the incapability to do things and telling their children that everyone is different but should be treated the same, people turn a blind eye leaving others to suffer, making them invisible. This is one of the biggest fears of disabled people. "What should a parent or carer do instead? Recognise our differences, but highlight our similarities." A quote is taken from Tanya Marlow written in the guardian. I personally think it's important to make people included in society not out of pity but out of love and kindness its the most humane thing we can do. Shutting people out is what brings about one suicide every 40 seconds.

(If you are dealing with depression please seek some medical attention right away, or talk to someone about it, depression is serious and is always best tackled early. So go out and seek advice now! If not I found a website that could help here.)

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