What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a disability diagnosis? Most people think about Stephen Hawking, Stevie Wonder, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Yet, knowing that some people with disabilities have been able to live a happy and fulfilling life is no guarantee that you will accept the situation if it happens to you.
Indeed, every year more and more Americans face a traumatic disability diagnosis. The diagnosis is always life-changing for those who receive it. More importantly, it is hard to manage the diagnosis when you’ve been living without disability or without the knowledge of your disability risk.
There is no accepting and moving on
A disability diagnosis is not something to take likely. It isn’t a short-term inconvenience that you can ignore until you get better. Disability is not a cold that passes with time. It is here to stay. For many people, the response to the diagnosis is long, complex, and emotionally loaded. Nobody can accept such a diagnosis with a smile. Most people fluctuate between anger and depression, flipping between moments of feeling sorry for themselves and becoming irritable about the situation. Someone with a disability diagnosis could lash out at their loved ones or doctors for not being able to help. It’s important to differentiate the individual from their behavior during this stage. Depression can often appear once the anger fades. For caregivers and relatives, it’s crucial to be attentive. The rate of suicide among disabled individuals is alarmingly high.
Is the disability diagnosis my fault?
Who did this to me? It’s a question everybody will ask. It’s also a question to consider seriously if you feel that the disability could have been prevented. For instance, an individual receiving a disability diagnosis after what seemed to be standard surgery might find the situation unfair. It’s worth seeking the help of medical malpractice attorneys to review your case and figure out whether your disability was indeed the result of a mistake. From a practical perspective, being able to claim compensation for your disability can help improve your quality of life. Yet, the act of blaming someone, even if it is yourself, can fuel anger disorders and affect your coping strategy. The right question to ask is not who’s to blame but how you cope with the situation.
Can I get medical insurance cover?
Disability changes your medical needs. As a result, your medical insurance coverage also needs to evolve accordingly. If you are seeking new cover, Medicare offers coverage for some individuals under 65 with disabilities. The annual enrollment period for 2022 is running until December 7, so now is the best time to change your plans and receive more disability support. Medicare coverage for disabilities includes nursing homes, home health, physician, and community-based services. Other health insurance providers also have unique disability coverage. So it’s worth doing your research and also checking you have access to disability benefits to supply or support your income.
This is me now
Defining your identity as a disabled person is tricky. Many seek psychological counseling because they are worried about losing themselves to the disability. Surround yourself with empowering role models and positive people.
Being told you have a disability is like a slap in the face. How do you cope with a life-changing diagnosis? There is no right or wrong answer. Yet, coping should include seeking compensation and medical coverage when needed and preserving your mental health.