Fostering Mental Health with a Disability

The times when disabilities were looked down on are long gone. Now, people have seen the capabilities and strengths of those who have disabilities. No longer are these seen as limitations or hindrances in life. Persons with disabilities have indeed proven that they can do what others can, without letting their physical impairments define them.

The world understands the capabilities of these people now. And they support causes and advocacies for the benefit of those with disabilities. Many are acting to help provide disability benefits for those with physical impairments. From developed cities like New York to small municipalities like Salt Lake City, the voice of those who support people with disabilities is heard.

But society’s views are not the only challenges faced by people with disabilities. There exist battles coming from within. Admittedly, the results and achievements of PWDs are awe-inspiring. But not everyone sees what it took to get there. And we’re not just talking physically. Often, the battle is with mental health.

A survey conducted between those with disabilities and those who don’t is enlightening. The results show a substantial difference in mental health between the two types of respondents. 61.4% of respondents without disability say that they feel their mental health is excellent. On the other hand, only 28.4% of those with a disability can say the same.

This, indeed, shows that disability correlates with mental health. And that’s often the most significant struggle faced by persons with disabilities. Mental health, as we know, has been deemed essential in today’s era. So it’s an issue that has to be addressed. Here are just a few ways to improve mental health for PWDs.

bowl of healthy food

Healthy Lifestyle

Data reveals that persons with disabilities are less likely to participate in wellness programs, as compared to those without disabilities. This is closely correlated with mental health. Feelings of hopelessness, lack of support, and a waning sense of self-acceptance can be the causes.

This is especially true for those who were not born with a disability. If they acquired it at a later point in their lives, it becomes much easier to obsess about what they lost than to focus on what they can do about it.

But, consequently, adopting a healthy lifestyle can boost both physical and mental health. Engaging in self-care and wellness activities can greatly improve the well-being of persons with disabilities. Disability does not mean inability. Focus on the things you can do and push yourself towards living a better life.

Find your purpose

Often, what takes a toll on the mental health of a person with a disability is the feeling of lack of purpose. It’s easy to feel useless and hindered in life, especially with a physical impairment.

However, that’s not necessarily true. Persons with disabilities can keep living a progressive and purpose-driven life, just like those who don’t have disabilities.

You need to find your purpose or what you love doing. It can be a sport, or advocacy, or supporting a cause. Whatever it is, the right mindset and motivation will push you forward.

Having a disability can indeed take a toll on mental health. But the key is to have the right mindset. Focusing on your disability will not take you anywhere. Accept who you are, and strive towards what you can do instead of what you can’t.

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