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“Disability Meets Depression” By Latrea A. Russ

Updated: Nov 14, 2022

Being disabled can cause one to face many ups and downs obstacles, hurdles, uphill battles, and valley experiences throughout our lives, the upside to this is all of these experiences have shaped and continues to shape who God had created us to be. But sometimes these experiences can also play on our emotions and self-esteem which makes life a little difficult to deal with and can call depression to set in if we are not careful. Depression is defined as a mental disorder characterized by a depressed, low, or “blue” mood that lasts more than a few days. Depressed people often lose interest in activities they formerly found pleasant, feel hopeless and sad, and suffer from low self-esteem. Depression and disability oftentimes go hand and hand, depending upon the support system that an individual may have. But then the question becomes why does disability lead to depression:

Why does disability lead to depression??

No life direction or purpose – Many individuals who happened to have a disability often feel as though because they are disabled they have no idea which causes them to feel lost and out of place. Then there is the individual who becomes disabled later in life, they have worked hard to achieve a certain career goal. Acquiring a disability that no longer allows you to work at that job has a significant impact on your direction in life and may also impact your sense of purpose. For example, an airline pilot whose vision becomes seriously impaired is no longer able to fly. Such a devastating loss can easily open the door to depression, mainly if that was the only career he or she had ever wanted.

The painful loss of a sense of purpose affects many disabled individuals who were formerly the primary breadwinner in the home. When you’re no longer able to provide for your family, it’s not unusual to develop the lingering helplessness or frustration that leads to depression. Feelings of worthlessness, another common symptom of depression, can begin to take a firm grip. This is seen commonly in a lot of disabled vets.

Decrease in self-esteem – Being disabled affects how you perceive and feel about yourself, as well as your place in society. A study of individuals with traumatic brain injury revealed they had lower levels of self-esteem and higher levels of depression than healthy individuals. Some disabled individuals lack confidence in their ability to control their bodies and manage their life adequately. The loss of autonomy can take a severe toll on self-esteem.

Sadness, anger, or frustration – A disability can sometimes prevent you from having your dream job or your dream career, but it isn’t always serious enough to keep you out of the workforce entirely. Feeling forced to take a job that isn’t as challenging, fulfilling, prestigious, or well-paying can elicit negative feelings such as sadness, anger, frustration, or resentment.

The struggle of living with a disability – Quality of life often decreases after a significant injury or illness, especially when it limits the ability to perform normal daily activities. A serious brain injury, for instance, requires a person to relearn any number of tasks, from how to speak to how to button a shirt. In some cases, he or she simply isn’t able to relearn important functions. Likewise, a disability such as vision loss completely changes how someone lives. A newly blind person must learn how to navigate a dark world, losing at least some independence in the process.

Feeling bored – Some disabilities leave a person housebound, with few opportunities to interact with others. You may find yourself at home alone all day while your spouse is at work or confined to an assisted living center where community activities don’t match your interests. Boredom fosters negative emotions, including loneliness and frustration, which can trigger symptoms of depression.

Disability raises depression risk; however, depression can also make the disability worse. For example, depression can make it more difficult for you to take proper care of your health. You are more likely to miss important appointments, such as a doctor's visit or physical therapy. You may neglect to take your medications as directed. The result is a cycle in which the injury or illness triggers depression, which, in turn, makes the disabling condition worse.

Signs of Depression

The following are signs of clinical depression:

• Difficulty remembering things, concentrating, or making simple decisions

• Feeling tired all of the time despite getting enough sleep

• Feeling helpless or worthless

• Feeling pessimistic

•Having insomnia frequently or sleeping more than necessary

• Frequent irritability and trouble calming down

• Loss of interest in things that you previously enjoyed doing

• Increased appetite or loss of appetite

• Frequently feeling ill, such as having headaches, digestive problems, or other unexplained aches and pains

• Constant feelings of sadness or anxiousness

• Frequent suicidal thoughts or attempts at suicide

How to combat depression

1. Learn to speak positive words over yourself and your life: The Bible tells us that the power of life and death lies in our tongue, the more you start to speak positively about yourself the more positive you will start to feel about yourself.

2. Learn to speak those things as though they are true….despite how you feel at the moment: So many times we allow our current situations or circumstances to dictate how we value ourselves, you have learned to speak positively even if you don’t feel like it or even if it feels like the world is crashing down around you and remember your disability has nothing to do with your value because situations change by your value will not.

3. Learn to surround yourself with like-minded people. Surround yourself with positive people who can also be encouraging and see you and not your disability, they are comforting when they need to be when you need them to be but will not join your pity party.

4. Read your Bible See what God said about you, and what has he promised you because at the end of the day that’s all at matters is what God said about you, you are beautifully and wonderfully made in His image, by the way, has nothing to do with physical appearance, The plans he has for you is to prosper you not harm you (Jeremiah 29:11) Be confident in that He that has begun a good work in you shall see it to completion (Phili 1:6)

These are just a few tips on how to learn to defeat depression, this is an area you find yourself struggling I would love the opportunity to connect with you to see if maybe I could be of some assistance to you its 2022 we can’t keep doing the same thing and excepting different result its time that you get serious about and where God is trying to take you but you can’t go if you inter man is not together. In the same way, you take care of your body you have done the same for the thing for your inter man. If you would like to discuss this topic more in-depth with me feel free to send me an email at

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