Did you know that March is officially National Disability Awareness Month? And 2022 marks the 28th year that the United States has recognized this national holiday as a way to bring understanding, encouragement, and opportunities to people living with disabilities.
In the United States, it is believed that over 60 million adults, or one in four adults, live with a disability. Disabilities may include a limited ability to walk or climb stairs, see, hear, and focus with ease. These disabilities often make everyday tasks difficult.
Bringing Awareness to Better Mental Health
One way we can all mark the occasion this year is to educate ourselves on the mental and emotional impact of living with a disability. Adults with disabilities report experiencing depression and mental distress almost 5x more often than adults without disabilities. Frequent mental stress is often linked with poor health habits that can lead to chronic disease and other poor health outcomes.
When someone lives with a disability, it is easy to focus so tightly on the physical challenges that mental and emotional needs can be neglected. If you or a loved one live with a disability, it’s important to check-in and sees how you are feeling mentally and emotionally.
Should you find that you are feeling stressed, anxious or depressed, please find a licensed therapist who can help you navigate these uncomfortable feelings and offer coping strategies for moving forward.
Therapists can also help in other areas as well. For instance, the right therapist can help you understand the mind-body connection and help you speak with friends and families about how you’re feeling. He or she can also help you navigate any relationship issues you may be having that are related to a disability.
If you’d like to explore treatment options, please reach out to me.