Sadness, fear, and anger are normal responses to a chronic illness such as FEVR. It is important to recognize what causes these feelings or responses and communicate these feelings with others in order to effectively cope with them.
Seek emotional support from people who care and can handle your emotional problems. This may not involve family members since they are hurting too – psychotherapy and Antidepressant Drugs can help. Take time to greave for your loss and then share it with others through songs, writings, talk, drawing/painting (if possible), other art work, etc. Don’t shut down. Depression comes with loss – When is it too much and you need to seek help
Informational support – Understand your illness the best you can. Instrumental support – involving giving of your time, financial or materialistic assistance like being involved in a clinical study
Technology support – A lot of technology is out there to help. See “Links” on the left. READ MORE ABOUT TECHNOLOGY
Family and friends support – Start by doing as much as you can by your self first to gain independence, confidence and take back some of the control of your life
Other support – .Beyond your family and friends, there are organizations in the community that you can call on for help in coping with vision loss. It is important to note that services may often be located at agencies and organizations wh generally use the word “blind”. this will not diminish the fact that you may have useable sight. Low Vision Specialists – Beyond your eye surgeon there are doctors who specialize in helping to maximize the vision you have. They have special knowledge about low vision works and what technology is out there that you can use. Ask your doctor about them.
Support Groups – Support groups can be helpfull to some and are usually free. In recent years reserarch has demonstrated that people benefit from peer support networks and others lead by professionals.
Hot Lines – Hot lines with information and support may be located in your area
Transportation – Bus and train fares in cities are often lowered for the blind and legally blind. Also organizations may be available to help mobility of a blind or legally blind person
Financial Assistance – Social Security Disability income (SSDI) – If you have worked long enough and put into social security you may be able to claim disability income. In many states redaction of taxes on your house can be obtained. Also on your taxes if you can claim “legally blind” your taxes may be lowered. In some states the phone service will give legally blind and blind persons free access to information/operator calls (411, etc).
Suggested reading material
When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult times by Pema Chodron
Pema Chodron Books and Pema Chödrön HomeWebpage
Taking charge, overcoming the challenge of long-term illness. Irene Pollin, MSW, Times Books (Random House) 1994.
Coping with surgery
Knowing The Nature of Fear. 4 videos or DVDs, Berkeley, 9/99. An excellent introductory program on the path of mindfulness meditation in the Shambhala tradition..
- Coping Resources from The Foundation Fighting Blindness