Coping with Mental Health as a Disabled Adult

It is important to shed light on the experiences individuals with disabilities have when managing their mental health. Many adults with disabilities deal with depression and anxiety; in fact, according to the CDC, individuals with disabilities are almost five times more likely to develop these kinds of conditions than non-disabled folks. Coping with mental health as a disabled adult is a unique experience that is often not considered in mainstream advice. To help you or a loved one find the best methods of managing your mental health, we take a look at our best ways to cope with depression and anxiety as an adult with disabilities—

Meet with a Mental Health Professional

One of the most important steps in coping with your mental health challenges is to meet with a professional counselor and, if needed, a psychiatrist. Speaking with a professional can help you better understand your depression and/or anxiety, learn valuable coping mechanisms, and work towards the best treatment for you. If you feel that your disabilities are interconnected with your depression and anxiety, which is very often the case for many adults with disabilities, it is important to find mental health professionals who are experienced in working with individuals with disabilities so that your care is as accurate and tailored to your needs as possible. Working with mental health professionals through therapy and other treatments can make a huge difference and even help you better manage your concerns on your own.

Listen to Your Body

Mental health challenges like depression and anxiety can have many physical symptoms in addition to their mental effects. These symptoms are often ignored or not connected to these challenges by doctors or even yourself, which can inhibit the effectiveness of your treatment. For some individuals with disabilities, the physical symptoms of mental health concerns can make symptoms of physical disabilities ramp up and make them harder to manage. This goes the same for any mental disabilities as well. When coping with mental health challenges, especially as an individual with disabilities, it is important to consider the whole body. This is why using physical coping mechanisms and understanding how these conditions affect your overall body and your disabilities are great ways to manage your mental health. Taking the time to breathe deeply, meditate, get enough sleep, exercise as much as you are able, and other physical care methods can greatly help your mental health. Remember, your body can tell you when things are becoming too much mentally, and you might need help, so it is crucial that you pay attention to the signs.

Engage in Your Favorite Hobbies and Self-Care Activities

It can be difficult to keep interest in your favorite things to do when you are dealing with depression and anxiety, but keeping with them can help you cope tremendously. Taking the time each day to engage with your favorite hobbies, whether they be accessible sports, cooking, gardening, or creative activities, can make a world of difference for your mental health. Think of doing the things you love and the things that make you feel good as self-care practices (which, in reality, they are!), and consider them as a vital part of your mental health treatment.

Reach Out to Your Support System

Coping with depression and anxiety as an adult with disabilities is a difficult and often isolating experience. As such, it is all the more important that you reach out to your unique support system for help any time you need it. This does not just include your mental health professionals, doctors, or family; your support system can take any form that is helpful for you. For many adults with disabilities, isolation and feeling lonely can be a huge contributor to their Mental Health Disabled Adultmental health challenges. Maybe what you need in the moment is to connect with a community that understands what you are going through, so a support group for your disability or even your accessible sports team can be the best option sometimes. No matter what you need, your support system is there to help you.

Caring for your mental health and managing your disabilities go hand in hand. Being an adult with a disability can make coping with your mental health challenges difficult, but it is important to remember that there are many resources available to you at all times. You are never alone and should never feel discouraged from asking for help. Seeking out help is the first step on your journey to managing your mental health and living well. Delta Center strives to be a strong source of support for you, no matter your needs or concerns. Whether you are looking for the best care options for yourself or a loved one, in need of adaptive technology for your everyday life, or just looking for some helpful advice and support from people who understand living with your disabilities, we are here for you. If you are in search of more tips and resources, many of which engage with specific disabilities, take a look at our extensive resource page.