Living with disability can take a significant toll on your mental health. Pain and physical limitations caused by a serious injury or major illness can have long-lasting impacts on your life. There may be many changes in your ability to work, enjoy life, and care for yourself and others. Relationships with friends and family can also suffer.
There are strategies for coping with these new challenges. Let’s talk about getting support to help you cope and adjust to life after being hurt in an accident or diagnosed with a disabling medical condition.
1. Acknowledge that healing takes time
Your mental health will suffer if your mindset is stuck on “I should be better by now.” Rehabilitation and recovery can’t be rushed. You may never be the same as you were before. That can be very difficult to accept when all you want is for your life to go back to normal. Simply acknowledging that healing takes time and treating yourself with patience and kindness while you adjust to your “new” normal can mitigate emotional distress.
2. Don’t isolate yourself
It’s normal to sometimes feel down or self-conscious when you are adjusting to living with a disability after an accident or illness—but your mental health will suffer if you isolate yourself. Withdrawing from friends and family means you losing out on a great source of support and encouragement. Your loved ones can help you adapt, be there when you need to vent your frustrations, advocate for your needs, and support you when you need it most.
3. Join a support group
There is no doubt that friends and family can be an excellent support when living with a disability. Support groups are another option that you should explore, particularly if you are coping with a life-altering disability. Joining a support group gives you access to people who are going through the same thing as you. The support of people who have similar personal experience living with a disability leads to improved emotional and physical well-being. For example:
If you suffered a catastrophic injury such as a spinal cord injury causing paralysis, you may be facing severe lifelong disability. A peer support group suchas the one offered by Spinal Cord Injury Alberta rovides support, mentoring, coaching, and information that promotes successful recovery and transition.
There are also support groups for friends and family members of people living with disability, which can provide them with an outlet, new information, and resources to then in turn support you better.
4. Make your mental health a priority
When you are living with a disability after accident or illness, the focus tends to be on physical rehabilitation and addressing physical needs. Proper physical rehabilitation and treatment are essential to reaching maximum medical recovery, and you should continue to work with your doctor and other health care professionals in that regard.
However, you should also stay attuned to your emotional state. You may be struggling with your self-identity or self-worth, especially if you used to be very physically active. You may be grieving the loss of your old life. The psychological effects of a physical injury or chronic pain can be heavy indeed. It's also not uncommon to develop PTSD after a being in a serious car accident or experiencing some other kind of traumatic event.
Don’t ignore your mental health. Be open with your doctor about any emotional issues you are experiencing. Seek treatment such as counselling or medication to help manage issues such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, grief, and chronic pain. Strong mental health is an essential part of your overall well-being and in fact, promotes physical recovery from disability.
5. Have an experienced disability lawyer on your side
Coping with a disability is challenging enough without also having to deal with a disability claim or personal injury lawsuit. Hiring an experienced lawyer will take away some of the stress of your situation so that you can concentrate on rest and rehabilitation instead of legal or financial problems.
Insurance companies are quick to deny legitimate long-term disability claims and are notorious for pushing accident victims to accept low-ball offers. Such unjust treatment can be a serious blow to your mental health. A trustworthy lawyer will protect your rights and fight for full financial compensation on your behalf.
If you are facing a disability claim denial or unfair permanent partial disabilitycar accident settlement offer, for example, your lawyer will step into action. A disability claim denial can be appealed. A low-ball car accident settlement offer can be countered with a well-supported counteroffer that includes compensation for pain and suffering, past and future wage loss, and the costs of future care. You lawyer will take your case to trial if full and fair settlement is not possible.
Proper financial compensation will bolster your overall recovery and provide you with comforts and assistance you need to live—and live well—with a disability.
Contact Ludwar Law Firm for advice and support
You don’t have to go through this alone. Contact Ludwar Law Firm today to discuss your situation. Our Calgary disability lawyer can answer your questions and help you with your disability claim or personal injury lawsuit. To schedule a free initial consultation, call 403-670-0055 or come to our offices, located on 14th Street NW just south of the North Hill Mall. Find out how we can help you.