Coping with Disability after an accident

Labels and stereotypes are unfortunate aspects of society. You may not approve, but being branded one thing or another fits our complex social and welfare systems, making dealing with other people easier. As humans we can cope with anything as long as it has a label or a name. Disability in any form following an accident presents a number of new challenges on your life. This Manners Pimblett article looks at coping with disability, beyond the day to day challenges, for you and a loved one.


The word disability conjures up so many different thoughts about a person, social stigmas are set into motion and humanity is strained. If you have not got enough to worry about overcoming the trauma of the accident, now you have a prolonged reminder of the accident in the form of a "disability". Inside you are the same person, your rights have not changed and neither have your needs on society to treat you with the respect you deserve. Sometimes all the compensation in the world could not replace what we have lost in an accident. But you will always be the person you were. Inside you may feel you have lost something, or something has died, but you are still wonderful you. Disability is just a bureaucratic label.

Same old emotions

Personal injury effects people differently, every personal injury case is different but often the process for how you feel about your personal injury reflects the same format as grief:

  • Shock.The initial shock of the accident, this may be displayed in a number of ways from denial to numbness. We are all different and the way in which we deal with trauma is exactly that, different.
  • Searching. Looking for a reason for the accident, "who can you blame?" and you will!
  • Anger. Anxiety and anger about the accident, everyone in your life is a target. The doctor, solicitors even your boss. Everyone will be in your firing line. You will even take a pop at yourself.
  • Depression. Accepting your loss, the accident and how you react to it. This is the part of the process no one can just snap out of, depression is a physical and psychological aspect, that only time can heal.
  • Resolution, the bit you will have waited for. The pain is lessened and you have come to terms with your injuries and your coping mechanism is in place.


You become more aware of other people

What people think about you becomes a huge aspect of how you deal with disability. The way they cope with you, how they come to terms with the aftermath of the accident. How will people view your injury? Will they look at you in a weird way? Your self confidence may be depleted but you soon discover who your true friends are when you have suffered a dramatic episode in your life. Loved ones will rally around you; real friends will come through for you. Now is the time for you to gather strength and prepare the next stage in your life, develop those coping mechanisms. Being able to adapt as a human will help you get through this time and look forward to a better future. These are just some of the issues that you may face.

Everything changes but you

Ability is a choice word. It is up there with "normality", another meaningless word that society imposes to grade capabilities, another tenuous gauge. From how much benefits you can claim to the amount of care you receive your "disability" will be graded to enable due process and function of your condition. It is a stark reality but things have to change, anxiety will have to reach a level where you understand that you may not be able to do the things you used to do, well without adaptation that is. Your social life will change, relationships change with loved ones and you may find that you will find strength in alternative places. You will be conscious of others and the way they look and treat you. This is a usual human reaction to change (yours and theirs!).

Keep talking

Share your thoughts and challenges with as many people as possible. Take comfort in your friends and keep talking. Regardless of how you may think you are putting on people keep talking. Be patient with your loved ones. They have never had to deal with this either? The more you share with others the more they can help you. Sometimes it may help you to write down or record how you are feeling. There will be bad days but always look for the good days to help you through.

Regardless of your injury

Looking beyond your injury, looking beyond the longevity of your injury and how it affects your life following your accident. The amount of care you receive and the quality of life you retain are paramount to your recovery from the accident. Compensation amounts must be satisfactory enough to match the impact the accident has had on your life.

Clichés and branding

All the psycho babble in the world will never rectify the status quo. Adequate compensation will aid the healing process and enable the future. As with this article, time moves on, the term disability becomes less important than you. It becomes a word that you can tolerate. For personal injury advice for you or a loved one call 0845 0770772

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