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Cerebral Palsy more than a physical impairment
There is a large focus on the physical symptoms of cerebral palsy, and therefore mental health needs often get overlooked. Behaviours displayed may be attributed to your cerebral palsy rather than a mental health problem.
Medical teams may be more concerned about improving mobility so that you become self-sufficient before addressing mental health concerns. However, the two can go together and should both be equally prioritised.
Social care assists with physical needs, but who are qualified & supports your mental health?
What Mental Health Problems are commonly seen in our counselling sessions?
There are several categories of mental health disorders. Some common issues that individuals with cerebral palsy may struggle with include:
· Mood affective disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder
· Anxiety disorders such as generalised anxiety disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder
· Adult personality and behaviour disorders such as antisocial or avoidant personality disorder
The prevalence of mental health disorders in individuals with cerebral palsy is not necessarily related to the severity of cerebral palsy. Rather, it’s more closely associated with levels of stress, pain, fatigue, and perception of belonging.
Some social situations that can increase the risk of mental health disorders in individuals with cerebral palsy include:
All these situations have something in common: they make you feel different. This can cause a ripple effect on your mental health and cascade into your physical health, too.
Poor sleeping patterns, low physical activity, and pain (commonly experienced by people with cerebral palsy) also increase the risk of developing mental health disorders. For example, individuals with chronic pain may have reduced sleep quality, leading to lower energy levels to participate in physical activity.
Behavioural changes are often among the first signs of a mental health disorder. Recognising when you or a loved one is showing signs of behavioural challenges is crucial to preventing mental health disorders from progressing. These include:
· Excessive worry, fear, or feelings of sadness
· Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria
· Avoiding friends and social activities
· Difficulties understanding or relating to other people
· Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low on energy
· Thinking about suicide
As a counselling service with counsellors with cerebral palsy, we get it, we understand it, and we are there for you.
The cost of living is increasing, don’t worry or suffer in silence because we at Disability Plus can apply for free funding for you.
Specialist Information Officer and Cerebral Palsy Programme Lead
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