According to the Indian Census 2011, there were 26.8 million people with disabilities in India, which represents 2.21% of the population. Of these, 12.6 million were men and 14.2 million were women. Out of the total number of people with disabilities, around 7.5 million had a mental illness, while approximately 20.6 million had physical disabilities. Among those with physical disabilities, the most common types were those related to movement, hearing, and sight. Although it is only 2.21% of the population it is 26.8 million people. The number is high and needs attention.
It can be noted that those who have mental illnesses need not develop physical problems where people with severe or chronic physical problems can develop mental health issues. Here are some of the physical problems that can cause mental health problems.
People who have chronic health conditions which lingers on for years have a good chance to develop mental illness. Conditions, such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, or back pain, can cause significant physical discomfort and distress, which can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Those who have mobility limitations, such as those caused by spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, or multiple sclerosis, can lead to feelings of frustration, helplessness, and social isolation, which can impact mental health. Traumatic brain injuries can cause cognitive, behavioral, and emotional changes, including memory problems, impulsivity, and depression. Those who suffer loss of hearing or visually impaired may find it difficult to interact with others which could lead to social isolation and depression. People with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, asthma, and cancer, can impact a person’s physical and emotional well-being. People with sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea or narcolepsy, can disrupt a person’s sleep and lead to fatigue, irritability, and depression. As we can see there are many physical ailments that can lead to mental health issues.
Apart from have physical disabilities, they face a variety of challenges that can impact their daily lives. Stigma and Discrimination is one the issues. It is because other are not well informed about their problems that they discriminate people with disabilities. Some are denied employment due to their disabilities. People with physical disabilities often face barriers to accessing buildings, transportation, and other public spaces that are not designed to accommodate their needs. People with physical disabilities may feel socially isolated and excluded from social activities due to their condition, which can have a negative impact on their mental health and well-being. Some of them face financial problems. The do not have proper income due to their condition and added to that they have to spend on their health. Such problems impacts their overall well-being and quality of life.
Here are some things that could be done to help those with physical disabilities. The most important thing is to create awareness among the general population to remove the stigma about the disabilities. Having public places like buildings, transportation which are friendlier to the disabled. Having schools that are welcoming to the children who are disabled and provide education. Providing devices that help the disabled like wheel chairs and hearing aids. Ensure affordable healthcare. It is important to recognize the unique needs and challenges faced by people with physical disabilities and to provide appropriate support and resources to help them live full and meaningful lives.