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Often when we meet with clients regarding social security disability, we are discussing both physical impairments as well as mental health impairments. This may be because the client has lived with mental health impairments all along, but in some cases, depression has become a problem as a result of their physical impairments.

This is common and completely understandable.

For many, part of their identity has been their ability to work, and be successful in their career, in supporting their family. For most, working is also a means of socialization, and getting out and about, and quite often coworkers are also friends. So when an individual has stopped working due to disability, they may also battle depression as well.

Whether you are experiencing depression or just trying to stay as emotionally healthy as possible, there are things you can do to ease the adjustment to your new situation:

1. Talk about your problems. If you have a friend or relative who will lend a sympathetic ear, take advantage of it. If there are several such people on whom you can rely, it will lessen the tendency to “unload” on one person. Keep in mind that they are only human, too. You can talk to them without overburdening them.

2. Find a support group. There are groups for nearly every kind of medical problem, as well as for general emotional support while experiencing life changes.

3. Participate, if you are able to, in community or church activities. Do volunteer work, even if only a little a week. It’s a great way to feel useful while getting your mind off your own troubles.

4. With your doctor’s approval, get as much physical exercise as you’re capable of.

And keep in mind that it will get better.

As with other challenges in life, most people dealing with disability will ultimately make adjustments they never thought possible. But it takes time. Patience isn’t easy under these circumstances, but the more you can manage, the better you’ll feel.