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Coming to Terms With a New Disability

2 July, 2021

If you are diagnosed with a new disability, it can be difficult to adapt to a life that may not be what you are used to. Although it may be different, there are still so many ways you can continue to live in a fulfilling way, even if adjustments need to be made. Focus Care has put together a list of ways you can come to terms with a newly diagnosed disability.

Disability is different for everyone

Before coming to terms with a new disability, it is important to understand that this will be a different process for everyone. It is dependent on the disability itself, coping mechanisms, informal supports, and individual reactions to different events. 

It is also important to note that there is no right way to react. Everyone can react differently to different events, and this is okay. The important part is to make sure to try and maintain healthy coping mechanisms, and to allow yourself to rely on the support around you. 

Learning is key

It can be extremely helpful to take the time to learn as much as you can about your disability, so you can understand what you’re facing. It can be counterproductive to obsess over medical information, but a healthy understanding of your diagnosis, typical progression, and other factors, will help you feel more prepared and at ease.

Take a strength-based approach

When facing your disability head on, taking a strength-based approach can be extremely useful in helping you to cope. Being diagnosed with a new disability can be hard, but recognising this and instead focusing on what you can do is an example of taking a strength-based approach.

By undertaking this outlook, you can see yourself in the best possible light, and capitalise on your strengths, rather than focusing on more negative characteristics.

Set realistic goals

Having goals you can aspire to achieve is key to adapting to a new disability. There are many ways you can do this. Breaking down your goals into smaller steps you can take everyday to reach them is one idea. This will make your goals seem less daunting, and much more attainable in the long run.

Make your health a priority

When facing a new disability diagnosis, it can be easy to focus on this and disregard other aspects of your health. Making your health a top priority and focusing on what can be controlled is a way to help this. Getting an adequate amount of sleep, having a balanced diet and prioritising your mental health are simple ways you can prioritise your health in other aspects. 

Find the right support for you 

This is a time where relying on the right support for you is crucial to coming to terms with a new disability. Looking to friends, family, and those around you in a time like this can help you feel supported and less alone. There are also many support groups around which can provide you with company, surrounded by people who understand what you are going through. This website is a useful guide for finding support groups localised to your area, most of which are usually free to attend.

Give yourself time to mourn & accept

This is another element that is different for everyone. It is important to give yourself time to mourn whatever may have changed in your life since receiving a diagnosis. It is okay to feel sad about this. It is also important to come to an acceptance of your new disability, so you can begin to find yourself a new normal. 

What can Focus Care do to help?

Surrounding yourself with positive influences during these trying times can help. If you or a loved one are looking for disability support, tailored to your preferences, please contact us today to see how we can help. 

For additional support, please see the below links: 

https://www.peerconnect.org.au/peer-networks/joining-network/ 

https://www.disabilitysupportguide.com.au/services/support-groups

https://da.org.au/contact-us/ 

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