I stumbled across an article earlier this week that really shocked & saddened me, it was an article on BBC ouch that was titled ‘Why are a quarter of disabled people are lonely’ this report was made up of survey results from disabled people 23% said that they feel lonely and isolated on a daily basis so why is this and why isn’t more being done to change it?
Reading articles like this one really get to me as it makes me realise that the way I felt growing up was perfectly normal sadly, loneliness is one of the hardest feelings I think there is to deal with and while it is something that everybody deals with. I do think a lot of research is put into helping older people who may struggle from loneliness due to no longer working or loosing friends due to age but not much seems to be put in place for young disabled people who can’t socialise, I do think it can be harder if you have some sort of disability or something that may make you feel different to your peers, as it may be harder for you to gain friends in the first place. I know for me it was struggling to do what other children found easy that made it harder for me to socialise comfortably because I always felt somewhat less than my peers. Even at the age of 25 I still struggle to socialise in certain situations due to poor access into certain places or just basically my awful shyness and I genuinely think that more needs to be done to help young disabled people to overcome these barriers and make lasting friendships.
This article highlights a number of reasons why people with disabilities find it really hard to make and maintain friendships e.g poor access, lack of money or low self esteem which are all perfectly understandable reasons to me as someone who has a disability myself but one of the most shocking facts this article brought to light was that a huge 67% of the British public admit to avoiding communicating with disabled people as they feel uncomfortable or just don’t know what to say which makes this another huge factor as too why people with disabilities struggle to make lasting friendships with their none disabled peers. I strongly believe that everybody should have at least one friend in life regardless of their abilities so more needs to be done to help people get out there and make connections, so my dream is to set up some sort of workshops to help people out with their social skills and hopefully give them a safe environment for them to make forever friendships.
So what are your guys thoughts on loneliness disabled or not, is it something you have struggled with or still do? If so what do you find helpful?