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Who finds it difficult to make friends in adult life because of illness mental /physical?

Tammyjane33Tammyjane33 Posts: 54Member Courageous
Does anyone find it hard to make new friends in adult hood because you are unwell in some way? 

Replies

  • martinsmartins Posts: 30Member Connected
    Yes my daughter does as people see the wheelchair and not the person sitting in it. My daughter has a great personality and is loved by people who take the time to speak to her but boys and people her age arent interested as all they see is a WHEELCHAIR.
  • RoddyRoddy Posts: 231Member Pioneering
    Hi @martins ;
    This is very much a difficult situation which should be addressed by educating others more able bodied. However, sadly, it is also true that caring for & supporting a disabled person can be very draining and unless a person is committed 100% then more harm than good can happen within a 1-1 relationship. ALL relationships take time to develop and I also believe that a true loving person will see beyond 'a wheelchair' or any other difference, as true love & compassion comes from the heart and not from what only our eyes can see.  
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Posts: 38Member Connected
    Does anyone find it hard to make new friends in adult hood because you are unwell in some way? 
    I think a lot of us do!  I find dealing with people & social situations very difficult and absolutely need a lot of private time & personal space...but equally wish I could socialise with like minded people now & then, I don't have any friends left and don't know how to find any new ones despite being in my 20s.  It's not just the direct effect of the illnesses either, because of not being able to work and a severe lack of money I haven't got anything interesting to talk about, I can't afford any hobbies or projects for example, and I find everyone else my age has progressed a lot further through life than I have. 
  • CazccCazcc Posts: 6Member Listener
    Yes, always but I try each day to understand myself and my likes and what I want to learn and join a group to learn something new.  It was initially sport, then art, writing and who knows what next.  I have very patient family and some friends from the past but lost a lot along the way, particularly after diagnosis.  I guess they were not to know what was wrong.  These days I suit myself as I am older and do not worry so much but keep reaching out.  Going to shops is most difficult to me but I push myself to do so once per week.  
  • RoddyRoddy Posts: 231Member Pioneering
    Meeting new people and striking-up new friendships can happen in the most unlikely of ways at times. For example, I am also very lonely and without any friends at all, but since I purchased a mobility scooter I at least manage to get out and about, and more recently to a local ornamental park/gardens where I simply park-up and take in the fresh air and wildlife etc. I am also meeting people there who I'd not met in the past and we always have a chat about things... To me, it's a move in the right direction and has become something I look forward to without any expectations or false hopes.   
  • Tammyjane33Tammyjane33 Posts: 54Member Courageous
    @Roddy that's brilliant news well done. I find it's hard to make friends that  understand that if I make arrangements with them then fall ill suddenly and can't make it (due to me having a rare disease and being on a cocktail of medication that I become very tired and my stomach gets bloated and have no energy, but people are thinking because I don't look unwell then I'm fine physically inside and mentally but they are wrong. 
  • DollyTheDogDollyTheDog Posts: 2Member Listener
    I have issues meeting new people due to anxiety, depression and autism. It seems ever since I left school I've been lonely forever. I just don't mix well or gel with people because nobody seems to get me if you know what I mean. I try to go out sometimes and meet people but then I can suffer panic attacks and I end up being holed up in my flat for weeks or even months on end with only my support worker to check up on me. 
  • Tammyjane33Tammyjane33 Posts: 54Member Courageous
    @Cazcc I can totally relate to how you feel bit think your are brave and should be proud of yourself. :) 
  • Tammyjane33Tammyjane33 Posts: 54Member Courageous
    @DollyTheDog. So sorry to hear this, I am too a person that suffers with anxiety along with other mental health disorders and a physical health condition so I understand how life can be tough sometimes. You're never along. I'm Always willing to have a chat. Just message me :) 
  • ebeneeeebeneee Posts: 32Member Connected
    @Tammyjane33 10 years ago i had a lot going for me, i was working doing a job i loved (nvq assessor) before that i worked as a care/support assistant in the community, also in care homes supporting clients with Learning, physical  disabilities, i would support clients in their home, appointments to the shops, cinema anywhere the client wanted to go, i saw the client not their disability, it wasnt only because i was getting paid to do so, but it was how i was would help anyone( years ago i was driving my car and i saw a crowd of school children just looking on the floor, i decided to stop my car to see what was going on, i parked up and went to see what was happening, there was a young girl lying on the floor to me it seemed like she was having epileptic fit,  she was lying on her back, so i asked if anyone had called an ambulance, i then bent down and got her friend who was next to her on the floor  both of us turn her on her side, this was avoid her from swallowing her tongue, i tried to reassure her until the ambulance came, which seemed to take forever to come .........10 years on numerous medical conditions, visable as well as invisable, i cant work anymore, cant walk without a supporting boot due to poor mobility, family have to support me to shops or appointments i use a crutch for support, i havent got the confidence that i once had, due to medical issues that is visable on my face, i suffer with anxiety also, i just want to go to the shops quickly or appointments and get back to my home where i feel safe, people dont see the person they only see the disability............
  • dolfrogdolfrog Posts: 110Member Pioneering
    I have an Auditory Processing Disorder, a listening disability, which most are not aware even exists, due to negligence of the UKs Audiology, Speech and Language, and Psychology professional bodies who fail to explain the 4 types of Auditory Processing Disorders. 
    I can have problems following verbal conversations, and most are not even aware of the alternative communication i need to use to work around my communication limitations. And if others dpo not understand the nature of my communication limitations they will be unable to provide the communication accommodations i need need on a daily basis. 
    So meeting new people is not a real option, which is why I am almost house bound. Due the corrupt negligence of the UKs medical professionals
     
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 706Member Pioneering
    martins said:
    Yes my daughter does as people see the wheelchair and not the person sitting in it. My daughter has a great personality and is loved by people who take the time to speak to her but boys and people her age arent interested as all they see is a WHEELCHAIR.
    I have had the same problem. My son does use a wheelchair but that tells you very little about him. How hard is it to look past the disability? It is not rocket science. 
  • RoddyRoddy Posts: 231Member Pioneering
    dolfrog said:
    I have an Auditory Processing Disorder, a listening disability, which most are not aware even exists, due to negligence of the UKs Audiology, Speech and Language, and Psychology professional bodies who fail to explain the 4 types of Auditory Processing Disorders. 
    I can have problems following verbal conversations, and most are not even aware of the alternative communication i need to use to work around my communication limitations. And if others dpo not understand the nature of my communication limitations they will be unable to provide the communication accommodations i need need on a daily basis. 
    So meeting new people is not a real option, which is why I am almost house bound. Due the corrupt negligence of the UKs medical professionals
     
    You do have a good command of language though, as is evident from your descriptive post which is quite understandable. I can also understand & appreciate however, how difficult it must be for you, and the negativity of others towards your APD... Don't allow it to stop you from trying to meet new people, as best that you are able. Let 'them' be the problem, for it is they who are ultimately losing out! 
  • RoddyRoddy Posts: 231Member Pioneering
    martins said:
    Yes my daughter does as people see the wheelchair and not the person sitting in it. My daughter has a great personality and is loved by people who take the time to speak to her but boys and people her age arent interested as all they see is a WHEELCHAIR.
    I have had the same problem. My son does use a wheelchair but that tells you very little about him. How hard is it to look past the disability? It is not rocket science. 

    It is all very sad when certain people cannot see beyond a wheelchair. A 'wheelchair' is by no means enough to judge the person who's in one. There are HUNDREDS of instances when a person can find themselves having to use one at some point, without necessarily having any ongoing disability. Some people have very shallow minds indeed, as is evident. 
  • humble_rumblehumble_rumble Posts: 20Member Courageous
    Hi @Tammyjane33 ;
    Thank you for raising this issue. I have always struggled to maintain friendships, not because I can't make them. It is just sometimes hard to keep on top of things when you have a disability and are in pain. The last two years were also very tough on me with mental health going down and physically I'm not able to cope as much as I used to feeling tired quickly. 

    I have moved areas after finishing university for work and to make friends in a new area as a disabled person is rather hard. I don't feel that people want to connect with me on a personal level, like many said many just see the disability and not the person, I know many in my work also were very reluctant to speak to me but once we started working together on projects you can see them open up with you and be interested in what you got to say.

    From my experience, I would say you just need to talk to people as much as you can and interact with them, once they know you, your disability will become less relevant. Of course some people will always have a shallow mind, these kind of personalities you don't need in your life. You have to be strong and proud of who you are, your confidence will show and people will be wanting to be friends with you.

  • dolfrogdolfrog Posts: 110Member Pioneering
    edited July 14
    Hi @Roddy ;

    Being able to post on an internet forum is different from having to provide instant responses in a conversation. 
    Online I can create my posts and replies to others in my own time, checking for spelling for typing errors, (APD is the main underlying cause of the dyslexia symptom) and working around my word recall and auditory memory issues. 
    I have been through years of disability discrimination regarding my APd, and the APD all the members of my family have (3 sons, my wife and I) from the UK education system, employers, and society in general. Added to which our GPs are unable to refer us to any local medical support who have any understanding of our communication disabilities. 
    It has been 20 years since the first member our family had a clinical diagnosis of APD, and since then I have had to do the research to help explain the disability issues. The problem is incompetent negligent UK medical professionals who only want to massage their egos, and maintain their incomes marketing nonsense.  
  • RoddyRoddy Posts: 231Member Pioneering
    Hi @Tammyjane33 ;
    Thank you for raising this issue. I have always struggled to maintain friendships, not because I can't make them. It is just sometimes hard to keep on top of things when you have a disability and are in pain. The last two years were also very tough on me with mental health going down and physically I'm not able to cope as much as I used to feeling tired quickly. 

    I have moved areas after finishing university for work and to make friends in a new area as a disabled person is rather hard. I don't feel that people want to connect with me on a personal level, like many said many just see the disability and not the person, I know many in my work also were very reluctant to speak to me but once we started working together on projects you can see them open up with you and be interested in what you got to say.

    From my experience, I would say you just need to talk to people as much as you can and interact with them, once they know you, your disability will become less relevant. Of course some people will always have a shallow mind, these kind of personalities you don't need in your life. You have to be strong and proud of who you are, your confidence will show and people will be wanting to be friends with you.


    I 'suppose' that it can also be difficult for able bodied people at times. Perhaps feelings of awkwardness and trying not to be over-sympathetic are stumbling blocks. Disabled people 'are' different to some degree which in turn makes us stand-out from the crowd which can lead to others being overly judgemental about us. There are some of us too, that cannot explain or perhaps do not fully understand their disability themselves. Looking or behaving different in anyway, will always gain a reaction of some kind or another, as it's natural to react in this way even if without intention. I find the comments made by children can often be met with a negative answer from their parents, which only adds to being stigmatized at times. It may also be the case, that able bodied people simply think that 'we' wouldn't be interested due to whatever... It is certainly true that too much 'guess work'  rather than open communication is often the reason why friendships do not flourish or develop, and we all know that most 'guesses' made by all of us, disabled or not, are 99% wrong for 99% of the time about most things!      
  • humble_rumblehumble_rumble Posts: 20Member Courageous
    @Roddy thank you for your insight, you are absolutely right, there is a lot of guess work and assumptions that we and others make that make things difficult.  I don't claim to understand my disability very well, because I never felt anything different so for me to explain to someone in a way that yes I have a disability and make it not seem so bad in their eyes is tough because I always thought they would think the same as me and not see it as an issue.  I always felt the same as abled people so discovering that people look at me differently and may judge me because of my disability is kinda sad.

    It was only dating that made me re-evaluate how people look at disabilities, because being a friend and being in a relationship with a disabled person I guess is a big step from an abled person point of view. 
  • RoddyRoddy Posts: 231Member Pioneering
    edited July 14
    @Roddy thank you for your insight, you are absolutely right, there is a lot of guess work and assumptions that we and others make that make things difficult.  I don't claim to understand my disability very well, because I never felt anything different so for me to explain to someone in a way that yes I have a disability and make it not seem so bad in their eyes is tough because I always thought they would think the same as me and not see it as an issue.  I always felt the same as abled people so discovering that people look at me differently and may judge me because of my disability is kinda sad.

    It was only dating that made me re-evaluate how people look at disabilities, because being a friend and being in a relationship with a disabled person I guess is a big step from an abled person point of view. 
    I totally agree with you too. Plus, what about those who have become disabled? Are they to be placed in the same camp, solely due to them now having a disability! The very same person is within them, isn't it! Take my own disability for example, which is only relatively recent and has only become an issue for me for these past 12 years only. I have noticed how much people now look at me and see me differently, simply because I cannot walk without discomfort and have to use a mobility scooter. 12 years ago, nobody would have taken any notice, but 'my scooter' now labels me as being a disabled-nobody in many peoples eyes. NONE of these people have any idea what may be wrong with me, or not... I'd like to see a few able bodied people use a wheelchair or a mobility scooter for one day, or go out for a walk with dark glasses on and a white stick, Just to see how other people and behave towards them in totally inappropriate ways. Also, and of course, many disabled people are not instantly recognisable as being disabled in any way. My Son, for example who has severe learning disorders and Autism, but is one of the most handsome, polite and generous of people that anybody would care to know, and yet he still faces the same challenges of being 'accepted' by the so-called 'able-bodied' brigade... 
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 706Member Pioneering
    Roddy said:
    martins said:
    Yes my daughter does as people see the wheelchair and not the person sitting in it. My daughter has a great personality and is loved by people who take the time to speak to her but boys and people her age arent interested as all they see is a WHEELCHAIR.
    I have had the same problem. My son does use a wheelchair but that tells you very little about him. How hard is it to look past the disability? It is not rocket science. 

    It is all very sad when certain people cannot see beyond a wheelchair. A 'wheelchair' is by no means enough to judge the person who's in one. There are HUNDREDS of instances when a person can find themselves having to use one at some point, without necessarily having any ongoing disability. Some people have very shallow minds indeed, as is evident. 
    I’m a secretive person so I don’t want to share medical details unless I absolutely have to. Even then I am still cautious about how much I tell other people. 
  • RoddyRoddy Posts: 231Member Pioneering
    Roddy said:
    martins said:
    Yes my daughter does as people see the wheelchair and not the person sitting in it. My daughter has a great personality and is loved by people who take the time to speak to her but boys and people her age arent interested as all they see is a WHEELCHAIR.
    I have had the same problem. My son does use a wheelchair but that tells you very little about him. How hard is it to look past the disability? It is not rocket science. 

    It is all very sad when certain people cannot see beyond a wheelchair. A 'wheelchair' is by no means enough to judge the person who's in one. There are HUNDREDS of instances when a person can find themselves having to use one at some point, without necessarily having any ongoing disability. Some people have very shallow minds indeed, as is evident. 
    I’m a secretive person so I don’t want to share medical details unless I absolutely have to. Even then I am still cautious about how much I tell other people. 
    And that is your right, and your prerogative as an individual. Do 'we' go about asking personal details about those that we meet? No, most of us do not, and it should never be taken for granted either. My own concerns are my own business, to be shared ONLY when or if I decide to do so, and if that is a stumbling block to others, tough luck! There's much more to know about me, than my disabilities, and it is those things which should be of interest to others if they care to know me as the 'person' that I am. AMEN
  • sam12sam12 Posts: 757Member - under moderation Pioneering
    Yes me to people mock us like drs to making out we dumb we just normal people u must stand up to bad people 
  • Tammyjane33Tammyjane33 Posts: 54Member Courageous
    I am reading through All your comments to the questions people have answered and comments you have written. Please bare withw as there are lots of people I have to respond to and I wouldn't want to miss anyone out. 
    Thankyou to everyone that has shared your experiences and person journeys here on the site. You have got this ❤️💜be proud of yourself. 

  • Hart86Hart86 Posts: 279Member Pioneering
    I think a lot of us do!  I find dealing with people & social situations very difficult and absolutely need a lot of private time & personal space...but equally wish I could socialise with like minded people now & then, I don't have any friends left and don't know how to find any new ones despite being in my 20s.  It's not just the direct effect of the illnesses either, because of not being able to work and a severe lack of money I haven't got anything interesting to talk about, I can't afford any hobbies or projects for example, and I find everyone else my age has progressed a lot further through life than I have. 
    I can relate to this SO much. When I do manage to socialise I struggle because I don’t have anything to contribute. I don’t have stories or anecdotes, I haven’t been anywhere or done anything. It’s a weird feeling and really doesn’t help the isolation
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