Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Sight impairment - emotional responses

There are many ways to react to sight impairment depending upon when the sight impairment happened, how it happened and the circumstances and personality of the person who has experienced or is experiencing it.

The RNIB on its website describes some of the potential feeling and emotions as being
  • Shock and denial
  • Anger and questioning
  • Helplessness, fear, anxiety
  • Sadness and grief
  • Depression
Often people have less confidence and are anxious about their present and the future.  Someone I know feels guilty because her husband has to do so much for her, which means that he has had to limit his life. She also feels frustrated. She misses reading a lot and can get a bit stir-crazy as she cannot now go out alone

Oliver Sachs has recently had his book, 'Hallucinations' published. In it he describes how older people who are losing their sight and/or hearing may experience hallucations. They often do not discuss this because they fear they will be judged as mad or demented. It is useful to know that this may be an issue. See this Guardian review of the book.

Impairment and disability do not stand alone - they have huge impacts on a person, their daily living and their mood. It affects the people that they live with and their extended family and friends.

Sometimes we just need to find time to sit down and ask, 'How are you today?' Or be more up front and ask how their sight impairment affects them. And then look at what support the local congregation can offer.

In all our talk of social action we sometimes forget that there may be need right under our noses.


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