You have a great life. Your friends and family are by your side, and your career is flourishing. Everything changes one day, when you get involved in an accident that leaves you sitting in a wheelchair. The life you once had suddenly changes because the new disability.
Serious accidents, as well as severe medical conditions, are some of the most common causes of disabilities. Many people who suffer some form of disability find it hard to stay positive. They often punish themselves even more for being victims of an accident.
What to Expect
You might have a hard time in accepting your disability, especially when you are new to the process. Here are the things you could expect:
- A surge of emotions. Expect different feelings when you discover you that suddenly have a disability. There may be fear, worry, and sadness because you have physical limitations.
- Denial. You may also experience denial. You may not believe that you lost the functionality of a part of your body because of an accident or an amputation. It could be hard for you to imagine a life without being able to use your entire body.
- Anger. Anger is also a frequent emotion to expect when you are disabled. You might feel angry toward the driver who is responsible for the crash or the doctor who gave you a misdiagnosis. You may also be mad at yourself for being so naïve or careless.
- Self-pity. You cannot help but feel self-pity because you are not the person you were before. Losing a limb or your ability to walk may make you feel useless. Self-pity prevents you from seeing the brighter side of life.
- Isolation. After your accident and recovery, you may find it difficult to interact with your friends, colleagues and even your family members. You tend to isolate yourself from them because you lost your confidence or the desire to socialize. You may also feel embarrassed to show them the new you.
Not acknowledging the feelings you have does affect not only your physical health but also your mental well-being. Failure to address your emotional problems can cause severe psychological problems including anxiety, trauma, depression and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
How to Cope with Your Disability
It is difficult to cope with your disability, especially if you do not have the support system and the right attitude for it.
- Do not wallow in self-pity. Self-pity will only continue to bring you down when you allow it. You must avoid wallowing in it and think of positive thoughts instead. Think about your new strengths instead of your weaknesses. Change the way you think about disability and disabled people. Be thankful you still survived regardless of what happened to you.
- Step out of the house. Staying in the house for too long may cause you to isolate yourself from other people. You might forget how to interact with others. Try to take a walk outside. Feel the sunshine and breathe in the fresh air. You may have been cooped up in your house for too long, and it is adding to the negativity you feel about your disability.
- Adjust to your condition. Although you lost a part of your body, you can teach yourself to function without it. You can set remodel your home or install support to make it easier to move around. Change the way you do things normally. Create ways where you can still work, commute or move easily.
- Discover new possibilities. You may have lost a limb or are no longer able to use one as you once did, but that should never stop you from trying something new. You can still find a new hobby or talent that could show others your capabilities.
- Join support groups. If you need a good listener, you should join a support group. You can freely speak with people who also have disabilities. Participating in this type of activity helps you share your fears, worries, and doubts about having a disability. No one will judge you; instead, they support and understand you.
Never let your disability get the better of you. Turn what others may perceive as a weakness into s strength. If you feel as though there’s any need for you to prepare for costs in terms of your disability, perhaps a long term disability insurance, such as those provided here, can be helpful.
Can You File a Legal Complaint?
If your disability is due to another party’s neglect, you can file a legal case. You should file a claim against the plaintiff if your incapacity is due to:
- Negligence. Negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable care. If your disability is due to a car accident or a drunk driving accident, and you can prove that the other driver was negligent, you can file a claim.
- Medical malpractice. Your doctor made a mistake in giving you the right medicine dosage or made an error in diagnosing your condition, which resulted in your disability. You can file a medical malpractice claim against the negligent medical professional or hospital.
You have to right to protect yourself from the damages you incurred because of other people’s negligence. Their failure to exercise the amount of care expected of them caused another person’s life or their ability to live normally. Consult with a lawyer before you make a claim.
Keeping a positive attitude is essential, especially if you have a disability. Do not underestimate your capabilities just because of your condition. It is necessary to move forward and focus on the present to avoid feeling unhappy or unworthy. To stay positive, you can:
- Appreciate the second life you have.
- Concentrate on the good aspects of your life.
- Find your strengths and hone in on them.
- List the things you are thankful for.
- Surround yourself with the people who give you strength.
Give yourself enough time to mourn and grieve for what happened. However, you should also allow yourself to get over the incident and your disability and begin to enjoy life. Being involved in an accident or health situation that resulted in a disability is undoubtedly difficult. That’s why it’s all the more important to surround yourself with positive people and do things that improve your mental and physical health. You may be new to the process, but you can still find positivity amidst coping with a new disability.
Author – Andrew Nickleson
Andrew is a passionate writer, writing about disabilities and the law. He has written about many subjects aimed to help those who have questions unanswered. In his spare time he enjoys working on volunteering for those less fortunate.