How I feel this week can be epitomised by todays plethora of stupidity. FIRST, I reburnt the finger I burnt at the weekend and which Stups the cat scratched the hell out of a few days prior. I then, on attempting to depart my favourite health food shop at lunchtime, fell over from standing on my own foot. I wasn’t even moving! Just standing there chatting to the shop owner when I tried to turn and leave but couldn’t because my right foot was stopping my left foot from moving. And just now…the most annoying thing of all…I got to the check out at the supermarket, scanned everything and then realised I didn’t have my purse ARRGGGHHHHH COULD TODAY BE ANY CRAPPER??
This week I’m hurting, literally everywhere hurts. I think stress has burrowed its ugly head right into the core of my brain and I don’t feel entirely able to function at any recognisable, hominine (love that word) level right now.
But I’m lucky. I don’t have a disability and can rationalise my own thoughts, process them and work out solutions independently. If I look at Jude when he is stressed, I see a level of anxiety that he cannot control, comprehend or make any explanation of. Anxiety and disability are allies in an already challenging life for Jude and many other disabled children (and adults). I always thought it was just part of Jude but it seems not to be the case as I read this week that anxiety is one of the most common forms of psychological distress faced by learning disabled people. Interestingly, the article went onto say how a large proportion of learning disabled people, who suffer from anxiety, manifest their feelings into undesirable behaviour. i.e. those with apparent behavioural issues may have an acute level of anxiety that they are struggling to communicate. Jude often displays very undesirable behaviours so perhaps this is something I need to look into a bit further.
Ways to help ease anxiety are stated as the following:
- Face your fear
- Know yourself
- Healthy drinking and eating
- Faith / spirituality
- Talking therapies for example through
- Support groups
These are largely possible for Jude but some he wouldn’t understand such as Faith/spirituality but I guess we could covert it as something else but follow the basic principles. Some are rather “state the obvious” but good to have as a reminder.
For all the research buffs out there, here is an interesting bit of primary research looking at mental health services for learning disabled people.
It suggests services are not adequate and do not last long enough and a scarily large 88.3% said that talking therapies are not available enough for the people they are aimed at nor are they designed in a particularly effective way. This research was completed in 2014 so fairly indicative of todays standards.
Another reference – http://www.learningdisabilities.org.uk/help-information/learning-disability-a-z/a/anxiety-learning-disability/ – The basis for an understanding of anxiety and learning disabilities.
So in a nutshell, I think Jude suffers from anxiety. I’m going to look into this at the weekend and find out what services we can access to help calm him some how. I’ve written my Family Fund application now so fingers crossed they will help me turn his room into a sensory room haven, there are so many cool sensory-based activities and materials that he would just love. I’m desperate to get through to him more, it’s so frustrating. I see glimpses of Jude amongst a sea of stereotypical “disabled” behaviours such as the noises, funny habits, etc. Sometimes we have the most wonderful conversations and I’m so desperate to have more of that and less of the anxiety ridden behaviours. A x