Disability & Mental Health

Disability & Mental Health

When we think of disabilities it’s common to jump to physical disabilities. We think of people in wheelchairs, the blind, the hearing impaired, those with cerebral palsy etc. Our minds tend to gravitate to something tangible we can quantify. But the fact is that invisible disabilities are just as common. What’s more is that physical disabilities can often lead to invisible ones, such as depression or anxiety disorders.

Depression affects roughly 8% of all Canadians, and youth are particularly at risk. Part of what can make someone more susceptible to depression involves physical limitations. More specifically, those with physical disabilities. Physical limitations can take a huge toll not just on the body but the mind. The results can be dangerous.

But why does this happen? The reasons are many, and varied. The onset of physical disabilities can lead to a complete upheaval of one’s life and direction. For many, their disabilities force them to rethink their career path, oftentimes one that’s required a great deal of study or financial investment. The landscaper who’s owned his own company for 25 years that now has spinal stenosis and can no longer work. What happens after a diagnosis like that?

Often there’s a loss of direction and purpose. After working for years to get their career on track, being forced to stop due to situations beyond your control is demoralizing. This can also cause a decrease in self-esteem. Becoming disabled for any reason has a profound impact on one’s sense of self. If you were the primary breadwinner in your family and can no longer provide, that affects your self-esteem as much as it does your sense of purpose and direction.

With certain disabilities comes a complete loss of control over one’s own body. Whether due to chronic pain, weakness, fatigue, dizziness, or a myriad of other potential symptoms, you no longer feel like you have a say in what happens to your body. It can feel like being a Nascar driver locked behind the wheel of a car, unable to steer, while driving at 150 km/h. It’s scary. It’s a complete loss of autonomy. Often this can lead to self-destructive behaviour as a means of coping. This loss of autonomy and decline in self-esteem can lead people down a dark and dangerous rabbit hole that’s sometimes impossible to climb out of.

Feelings of boredom can become toxic if left unchecked. Sadness, frustration, and anger are all healthy emotions, but they can fester and grow into something far more insidious if they’re left unattended.

Disability goes beyond what we can see. Often those with physical disabilities develop mental health issues along their road to recovery. At Share Lawyers, we understand the breadth of damage a disability can cause. We know there’s more below the surface, and are dedicated to helping people get the care they need.


Has your long-term disability claim been denied? Contact Share Lawyers and put our experience to work for you. We have recently settled cases against Standard Life, Desjardins, Manulife, RBC Insurance, Sun Life, and much more. We offer free consultations and there are no fees unless we win your case. Find out if you have a disability case.