Mental Disabilities – Puzzling Reactions

Photo by: Grzanka Grit McDonald

Photo by: Grzanka Grit McDonald

Imagine the world spinning so fast that you can’t keep still. Imagine trying to read something, having to read it five or six times before you can even start to understand it. Better yet, imagine having to repeat yourself multiple times before someone can understand the sentence that you are speaking. Not only do you have to deal with that stress, but you also have to worry about others and their reactions to your struggles.

Why can we tolerate someone with a physical disability, and not someone with a mental disability? For some people, seeing many types of down syndrome, shaken baby syndrome, arthrogryposis, paralysis, and much more, have a higher chance of understanding the difference that they have. However, forms of Autism, ADHD, and other mental disabilities are not accepted because they aren’t always visible. You can’t see all the forms of mental disabilities that have an affect on people. There are more than 200 mental disabilities.  

You may be wondering why this article is important. After all what is this article going to do for you? Well, let me put it into a perspective that may relate to you in your everyday life:

You’re in school, and there is another student that talks at lightning speed, without breathing for multiple sentences at a time. They could have a mental disability. They could have ADHD or Aspergers. Would you have thought that there is even a slightest chance they could have a mental disability before you get annoyed by them?  You never know what lies beneath the surface of a person. Yet, we are all so quick to judge something that we can’t see. That is how society is.

We aren’t taught how to properly accept people with mental disabilities like we are taught to accept those with physical ones. The next time you come across someone that has a physical disability, mentally note your responses. Then, the next time you find out someone has a mental health illness, try to react the same way. Not only will this help them feel accepted, but it will help you too. It makes you a better person, and it will heighten others’ opinion of you.

Everyone wants to be accepted. Everyone wants to possess the feeling of the acceptance and kindness from our peers.  Simply listening to someone talk with a smile can change his day–maybe even his week.  

“Making one person smile can change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but their world.” -Unknown