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Dealing with emotions
After an injury there may be many emotions to deal with and many people find a new strength in themselves to adjust and cope with these feelings. There are also many people who find this adjustment very hard. They may feel like they have lost the life they were leading or have lost the person they were. They may also be angry, sad, frustrated, lonely, scared... and maybe these words don't even begin to describe how they feel. Sometimes they may feel like there is nothing that anyone can say or do to fix the situation or change how they feel.
The book "Back on Track" is a Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Handbook (also available in DVD and CD-ROM formats) and has a section on coping with all the feelings and emotions that occur for many people after a spinal injury. CRS Australia have also developed an Acquired Brain Injury Kit that helps people to understand the changes in personality, behaviour and emotion that are experiened after a head injury.
Although an injury may be permanent and unchangeable, the way people feel after their injury is not permanent or unchangeable. With time and with the help and support of others, many people overcome the physical and emotional hurdles that come with such a life changing event. In fact many people with disabilities live very happy and fulfilling lives and in many cases their disability plays a very minor role.
This is not to say that they no longer experience emotions associated with having a disability. Even those people who have lived happily with a disability for many years sometimes experience old feelings of anger or sadness that can return for short periods. We're only human!
If you are experiencing new or old emotions associated with having a disability, have a look at the links below for some tips on how to deal with these feelings that may be interfering with your happiness. You may also find some useful information on other websites such as beyondblue, Youthbeyondblue (for young people), and the Black Dog Institute.
Dealing with anger
Dealing with sadness
Dealing with worries
Dealing with loneliness
Dealing with social frustrations
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