Physical Health Society - Methods to cope with physical disabilities

Methods for coping

Some people are born with physical disabilities; some become disabled in later life through injury or disease. Regardless of the way a person became disabled, they will have to cope in a world that is principally designed for people with two arms and two legs. This means that the problems faced are as much psychological as physical, even for those who appear to be coping well with their physical disability.

Those who have been born with physical disabilities will hopefully have a loving family as well as support services to help them. Love as well as support is essential. It is not patronising to say that such people are brave; they have had to cope with so much in what is a physically abled world, and it is never easy.

Arguably, it is more difficult for those who have become disabled in later years. Not only is there the trauma of finding oneself physically disabled, but also there is the difficulty of having to live with it. Those who have suffered disability following an accident may be able to receive enough compensation to ensure they can spend the rest of their life without the worry of where the next penny is coming from, as well as being able to afford having their home adapted for their needs, but this does not necessarily ease the damaging psychological effects that the victim often suffers.

Among the methods assisting people with physical disabilities is therapy, which includes counselling and rehabilitation. They help the disabled person adapt to the challenge that life has cruelly thrown at them. Counselling is designed to help normalise the emotions that the individual is experiencing and help to explore ways to address and resolve any troubling emotions.

Counselling is also aimed at giving the person suffering the physical disability support as they determine how to resume life. This can be a slow progress, but at least progress can be made. Some eventually feel able to help those who are similarly disabled and do work for the likes of disabled charities. A physical disability does not necessarily mean that a person can no longer live a fulfilled and productive life. It is always possible to work again and even pursue a new career, and this will rebuild those feelings of self-worth. Counselling in particular can help relationships that have come under strain because of the disability.

One group of people that have suffered disabilities is the military. Wars have always led to severe injuries, and recent conflicts, such as in Iraq and Afghanistan, have brought this very much into the public eye. Help for Heroes is a charity dedicated to helping men and women who have worn the uniform and paid the price with the loss of limbs and mobility.

The invaluable work carried out on behalf of physically disabled servicemen and women is proof that there are ways and methods to cope with the trauma of disability. It is an example to everyone.