Discussion in 'Health News and Research unrelated to ME/CFS' started by Andy, Jan 13, 2018.
Thought it was a good article. People often don't believe I'm disabled just because I walk around in my superman suit
I would never describe myself as disabled, ill yes, I wonder if a poll would reveal anything interesting about the ratio between those who describe themselves as disabled and those who describe themselves as ill ?
I have never described myself as disabled either. Even though I don't think of myself like that, I think I'd probably qualify. I'd certainly take a disabled parking permit if one was offered, and use it, because the walk from my parking space to the classroom is something I could well do without when I go to work. It would probably be fairly pointless though, because by all accounts the energy saved by not having to walk would be spent arguing with idiots who think they know all about you just by looking at you.
I, nowadays, look at in a different light. Am I as able as the majority of the public? The answer is clearly no, so I'm "happy" now to think of myself as disabled as it's clearly logical to do so. For me, accepting that as my label meant that I took some pressure off of myself to achieve the same as more able-bodied people. But I totally understand that this will be deeply personal thing to accept, or not and that we will all have our own personal opinions on it.
ME is a disabling condition, so I describe myself as disabled.
I described myself as ill until I faced the fact I hadn't been able to leave my home without help for several years.
It wasn't a happy moment.
In my experience some people seem to assume those with a disability have a fairly static or stable condition. Someone wheelchair bound with a spinal injury perhaps. Obviously there will be health complications due to that but, assuming those are managed, the condition and abilities of that person are fairly stable.I
Then the perception seems to be that people who are ill are either temporarily ill, such as with a bad flu or something, and recover. It with a potentially life threatening illness who either die or recover.
What seems to be ignored is that some people are, in effect, both. I reluctantly have to accept that I am disabled as I clearly cannot carry out tasks and live as a "normal" person of the same age. I accept that I am I'll because the condition is ongoing and fairly unstable. The reason I am not receiving treatment is purely because there isn't an effective one.
For me, this issue is a matter of semantics -- how one defines the meaning of a word. I have referred to myself as either ill, or disabled, depending on the situation.
Based on recent articles I've been reading, it seems "disability awareness" may be one of the top news stories of 2018. I've seen many references to the ratio of people living with at least one disability. Here's an older example that provides a broad definition of disability:
CDC: 1 in 5 American adults live with a disability
It states: "The researchers defined a disability as a self-reported difficulty in one or more of five areas: vision, cognition, mobility, self-care or independent living."
Here's a more current article, also from the Guardian:
The subheading: "In any public place, it may surprise you to look around and consider that one in five people have a disability. Many engage less with society than they would like"
Although this article primarily focuses on the more narrow "physical" definition of disability, it does provide some interesting insight into the effect of disability on perception (self, and others).
"How we see ourselves and how we are perceived by others is very closely linked. Awareness of the impacts of invisible illness is growing, and much is being written on the topic by those who endure it and by health professionals. But we have a long way to go before our community understands that we are surrounded by people with invisible illnesses and disabilities."
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