Dealing with isolation
Life with a spinal cord injury (SCI) can sometimes lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Various practical issues – from accessing mobility aids and wheelchairs to a lack of accessible transport and venues – can prevent SCI people from getting out there. And while it’s improving, the misunderstanding and lack of awareness around disability can make forging friendships and finding common interests tricky. The British Red Cross says that some people avoid talking to a disabled person because they don’t want to appear “patronising”.
non-disabled people believe they don’t have anything in common with disabled people, and a quarter admit to avoiding chatting to disabled people for fear of ‘saying the wrong thing
What causes isolation after injury?
We can become isolated for all sorts of reasons. Unmet care needs, for instance, could mean we cannot confidently leave the house because of concerns over infections or bladder control. Practical issues, such as not having a fully accessible home, lack of transport and poor mental health, can contribute too.
Finding hobbies or activities you enjoy is a fantastic way to escape isolation and meet new people. Getting back into work or finding a new job can also help. If this is something you’re thinking about, learn about applying for the government’s access to work scheme.
You’re not alone
Accessing SCI specialist counselling or support from peers and social groups, both in-person and online, can be hugely helpful. Find out how to access our support services by calling our freephone support line on 0800 980 0501.