Last week I spoke about coping with an acquired disability and related it to my stroke. This time I would like to focus on one of the hurdles that can get in the way of coping successfully with an acquired disability; and that hurdle is depression.
In the early stages of acquiring a disability it can be very easy for depression to sneak up on you while your focussing on your recovery from whatever has caused your disability. It is often the case that those around you will notice the onset of depression before you do, this may not however make it any easier for you to accept that depression has you, in fact quite the opposite.
There is a subtle difference between being depressed and having depression. It is possible to continue with your life as you usually do whilst being depressed, however it is much much more difficult to do so without some kind of intervention, be it with medication or therapy) when you have depression. Of course the lines on this blur when you have recently acquired a disability as you don't always know what continuing with your life as usual is now, hence those around of pick up on the possibility of depression before you do.
As I mentioned in my previous blog, there is a period of mourning for your former self when learning to cope after acquiring a disability, and in the same way as bereavement counselling can help people through the grieving process, other forms of counselling can help come to terms with the life changes you have and are continuing to experience, sometimes medication can be required.
Either way there is no shame to be attached to having depression and it is in no way a sign of weakness, indeed the greatest strength is gained from recognising you have depression and taking control of it before it controls you.