How to Avoid Depression With Long-Term Disabilities

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - 4:25pm

Many people who are facing long-term disabilities are also dealing with depression. It is very easy to fall into despair when your disability and its results are unrelenting. Even day-to-day activities become a chore.

That’s the common belief, but please, there’s no need to feel sorry for yourself, forever.

When you’re dealing with a long-term disability, stay positive and keep moving through the depression. Staying organized also helps. Write down the things you need to do so you don’t have to worry about them: doctor’s appointments, paperwork, and so on. They become less intimidating if you know exactly what you need to do to complete them. Hire a long term disability lawyer to help launch your approach.

When you’re coping with any kind of disability, be it mental or physical, counseling is of the utmost importance. A good counselor or therapist can help you work through the feelings of helplessness and depression you might experience and help you decide if medication is right for you. Keep a journal of your emotions and what trigger them so you can let go of those feelings rather than harbor them.

Often, it is difficult for your friends and loved ones to know what to say and how to comfort you, which can deepen your depression. Don’t be afraid to let them know what you’re going through and how they can help you cope. Most people close to you will want to lessen your pain, but they aren’t sure how. Make an effort to get out of the house and see them. Sometimes, even a short outing will lift your spirits and help you hold onto hope. Go to a park and enjoy the breeze. Grab coffee with a friend. Treat yourself to a meal and savor it.

Even if you don’t feel like doing the things you used to enjoy because you wonder what the point is, try doing them. Start out small. If you used to love doing art or making crafts, do a small project. Rather than crocheting an entire blanket, try your hand at a hat. Your enjoyment won’t come back all at once. There really is no magic cure for depression. It’s about taking small steps and “faking it 'til you make it.”

In addition, be interested not only in your life and your long-term disability, but also in the lives of others around you. Ask how they’re doing and offer to help them in some way.

Helping others has a way of lifting the helper’s spirits as well as the people who are receiving the help. It’s rewarding to know that you’re a positive difference in someone else’s life. Volunteer your time, open a door for someone, perhaps speak to others who are dealing with depression and a long-term disability. Knowing that you’re the hope for others will help lift you out of your depression.  

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