What is a Physical Disability?
Physical disability. What comes to your mind when you hear this word? What is the first thing you think about when someone tells you that someone is physically disabled?
You might think of a person bound to a wheelchair, walking with a stick, blind, having polio or anything you can think of.
So what exactly is a physical disability? It is the inability to use your legs, arms or another part of your body. There can be different reasons behind it. It can be an inborn issue, accidental injury, or because of an illness.
What is Mental Health?
Mental health is nothing but the psychological, emotional, and social well-being of a person. That’s why being mentally healthy is so much more important than being physically healthy. Your body showcases your mind. A healthy mind leads to a healthy body.
A physical disability can be seen by others but a person with mental illness is not easily spotted.
Why a physically challenged person faces mental issues?
Now, the most important question comes up. What happens when a physically disabled person is not mentally healthy? It affects their health which will simply degrade their condition, they might start cutting people off and isolate themselves.
What makes a disabled person mentally ill?
Is it the society, insecurity or the stigma attached to it? Well, all these factors contribute to this illness. Maybe we make that person weak. By showing extra sympathy, extra care, extra concern or providing them with the help they don’t even want. Sometimes, these are the things which make a person feel more bad about being physically challenged than they actually feel.
Is helping always an option?
Is it always healthy or necessary for us to help a person with a physical disability? Till what extent should we help them and where should we stop?
It is very important to know when to help and how much to help. Because too much help for a person can also be dangerous. They might take it negatively and start to underestimate themselves.
They feel more disabled than they actually are for not being able to do their day to day work and needing help or support every time.
And this definitely affects their mental health, which can be very dangerous. It puts a negative impact on their brain and they start believing that they are weak which obviously they are not. They might get depressed because of it or face any other mental problem which can possibly make their condition even worse.
How to help?
So the question here arises – how to help someone if they are facing this problem?
The best thing to do is to communicate. There are not enough words to highlight the power of communication. Let the other person tell you where they need to be helped. Let them talk to you about where they are facing problem instead of assuming they might need it. Be a friend, be a motivator, and most importantly, be a listener. Encourage them to do things on their own. Treat them normally just like others because that is exactly what they want.
They don’t want to have any kind of VIP treatment. Help them when they ask for it and not when you think they need it. Because they can’t be dependent always. Although it is also impossible to make a disabled person 100% independent, at least we can try to make it possible to an extent.
Making a physically disabled person independent and helping them live a healthy life is the biggest gift or the biggest help you can give to them.
Your abilities are bigger than your disabilities. You are not less than anyone and you can do anything you want.
If you are born with the weakness to fall you were born with the strength to rise – Rupi Kaur
People with a physical disability don’t want their disabilities to be ignored but they also don’t want to be interrogated about them.
End the awkwardness. Make them comfortable. Be an encourager because the world has plenty of critics already.