Mental Health Of Those With Physical Disabilities
Mental health is a big issue in today’s world. Apart from heart attacks, strokes, and cancer, depression and anxiety are among the leading causes of death in the world today. We must understand the life of someone who is going through mental issues. This way, we know how we can help them through their attacks or their episodes, and we know how to conduct ourselves in a manner that does not trigger them in any way. The goal is to ultimately help people through their time of struggle without having any judgment towards them.
Now, it is obvious that mental health issues can happen to anyone. The happy guy in the center of the room, making everyone laugh, can also be the guy who is severely depressed. The popular girl can be going through a lot of anxiety and recurring panic attacks no one sees. Whatever the case may be, we never know what a person may be going through, so we should always be kind to the people we interact with. This is not just to be a stuck up, but it is the best way to help people who have depression or anxiety to feel like there is someone who cares enough to make sure they are okay.
Of course, in this world, we are with people who are physically disabled. People who are already stereotyped to be weak. Time and time again, many of these people have proven the world wrong. However, mental health issues are high among the physically disabled, and it is very understandable why this is the case. According to the North Carolina Office on Disability and Health, it is more common for people with disabilities to show signs of depression up to two to ten times than people without disabilities.
Although not every person with a disability will show signs of depression or anxiety, challenges such as health, socioeconomic status, pain, mobility, isolation, and traumatic experiences can cause them to have higher depressive tendencies than most. They also have to face an additional barrier, which is stigmas on mental health such as “it is all in my head” or “no one cares.” This can lead to people not seeking help from anyone, which can be a dangerous thing as leaving mental illness untreated can lead to more issues.
It is shown in a study that mental and physical health are interconnected. So when a person is going through physical pain or a disability, it is likely that they will be going through mental issues as well based on the factors mentioned earlier. There have been many stories of people with disabilities being turned away for mental health aid because of their disabilities, which can ultimately cause a lot more harm. In a study published by PubMed Central, it is shown that suicide among the disabled is more “acceptable.”
What this means is that people are okay with having the disabled go through suicide because, to them, it is “acceptable” since these people are disabled. This is the kind of thinking that has caused many persons with disabilities not to seek the help they need. This is not what we should be doing. This is not the kind of “help” that we should be providing to these people because at the end of the day, they are people, and they too matter.
As someone who grew up with a deaf sister, I have seen my sister struggle with anxiety and depression. I know what it looks like for the disabled to go through mental pain, and you know what? It looks exactly like any other person going through the same thing, given that my sister could not speak her mind on the matter, but she has found ways of expressing her pain. There came a time when she got bullied, and she had refused to go to school for a month. She locked herself in her room and only came out to eat.
So, before you say things like “it is okay if they commit suicide, they are disabled anyway,” make sure that you understand what it feels like to lead the life they live. No one should ever be denied any kind of help solely based on their physical appearance. You will never know what kind of life you change with a simple act of kindness. Do not worry. Kindness is free. It is the simplest things that make the world a better place to live in.
Make sure that you check-up on the people you care for. Make sure that you check-up on yourself too. To end this, a simple reminder from me, you matter. You are loved. There are people in this world who are willing to help you through whatever you are going through. So keep going. I am proud of you.