Physical disabilities: emotions and relationships

Living with a disability can have an impact on your emotional life. It can change the way you feel about yourself and those around you. For many, living with a disability is a constant struggle—both mentally and physically.

The physical limitations that you experience, as well as others' attitudes towards your impairment, can sometimes be very frustrating. You may also experience feelings of social isolation and loneliness, so having a good social and support network is vital.

Whether your disability developed earlier in life or later, there is a wide range of support out there that can help you manage your emotions and relationships. These services are available for both the individual, the family and carers.

You may find that you're able to talk it through with family and friends, or you may find that counselling is best for you. What matters is that you stay well and balanced, and take steps to ensure that feelings of sadness or depression are handled with care.


The aim of counselling is ultimately to provide a safe and supportive space for individuals to discuss their concerns and fears with a trusted professional who will help them to explore ways of making life more manageable. Counselling can take place face to face, individually or in a group, over the phone or even by email. There are so many options!

Depending on where you live, you may be able to get counselling via your GP. If this is not available, you can ask your GP to refer you to a local organisation that may be able to help. 

If you prefer to find emotional support tailored specifically for Jewish people, contact Jewish Care Direct at 0208 922 2222. The Jewish Helpline can also assist you. That number is 0800 652 9249.

For general emotional support any time of day or night, the Samaritans are there to help.

Relationships with friends, family and colleagues

Disability influences relationships. Of course it does, but that’s ok.

As with all relationships, communication is key. Take the time to talk, keep honest and be real. Share and explore your feelings together. Don't be afraid to speak out. Whatever the emotion, our advice is this: don’t bottle it up.

Relationships, in general, are pretty complicated, so understanding and being in control of your needs ensures that having a disability does not make your relationships any more so. For more information on connecting with loved ones and people you care about—and who care about you—visit the Emotional wellbeing section of Jewish Care Interact.

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