Home // Disability, Stress, and PTSD
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, a reminder that disability is not something that removes someone from all the normal activities and ambitions that anyone strives for to create a fulfilling life. Yet too often those who live with chronic physical and mental conditions don’t just encounter barriers to undertaking ordinary activities like working (those with disabilities have nearly double the unemployment rate of those without disabilities). They must also deal with lack of awareness of the effort it can take to overcome a physical, cognitive, or sensory disability. Navigating a world that seems to be blind to their struggles can add an additional layer of difficulty to the daily experience of the 61 million Americans living with some form of disability.
How does this affect their overall health? It’s well-known that stress, especially chronic stress, has a negative effect on the body, with a range of effects from digestive issues and headaches to heart disease and memory impairment. But research also shows that those with disabilities have significantly higher rates of stress-related health conditions than the general population, with evidence pointing to the role of minor stressors in developing serious conditions like cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, people with disabilities can also face a range of challenges in simply obtaining the health care they need to feel their best—and our medical system is poorly equipped to provide the time, understanding, and holistic perspective so sorely needed.
Worse, the very lack of effective care can lead to further problems in those whose disabilities are accompanied by chronic pain. Research has shown a common link between chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While the relationship is not fully understood, it is believed that not only can the conditions coexist, but that they negatively reinforce one another. The answer is not more of the same medical runaround with providers who have limited time and energy to connect the dots for vulnerable individuals.
At the Natural Healing Center, we understand the frustration of attempting to navigate a broken health care system when you’re living with a disabling condition, because our founders lived it. Too often the experience is one of waiting weeks (if not months) to see a provider and then only getting a few minutes to try to explain what’s wrong. Symptoms get siloed and treated one by one, rather than being put together in a comprehensive picture that identifies the root cause.
That is why the Natural Healing Center is different. We understand that wellness is achieved by treating individuals as a unified whole instead of a collection of disorders. For example, we know that both autism and ADHD are associated with a higher rate of gastrointestinal illness—and unaddressed GI symptoms such as abdominal pain can increase stress and make behavioral symptoms worse. We’re dedicated to listening to each client, getting to the bottom of the mental and physical symptoms they’re experiencing, and creating an individualized treatment plan that harnesses your body’s ability to heal itself.
Many of the clients who have found their way to the Natural Healing Center come to us only after years of failing to find answers through traditional medicine and feeling unheard by those who they trusted to help. After being told that they would never feel better than they did at that moment, or that they would have to take pharmaceuticals for the rest of their life, they refused to give up hope for something better. For those living with disabilities, the danger is very real that pain, inflammation, anxiety, brain fog, and other symptoms that CAN be fixed will simply be dismissed as something they have to live with because of their disability, in the same way our clients were told they had reached the end of the line for what medicine could do for them.
Our practice is built on the power of whole-food nutrition and natural healing modalities designed to support your physical and mental well-being. We’re here to listen to you and guide your journey to better health. To learn more about our inclusive approach to wellness, or to schedule your free introductory consultation, contact us here today.