Disabled, or Handicapped? What’s the Difference?

Here’s a post I wrote on the wonderful mental health group blog, A Canvas of the Minds, that published today. I’m interested to hear y’all’s comments on this issue. Myself, I go back and forth between feeling disabled, and feeling handicapped by my disability. Some days (minutes, hours, days, weeks, months or years) I feel paralyzed. Other times (seconds, minutes, hours, or, rarely, days) I feel empowered, and not the kind of grandiose power that comes with mania, but the feeling and, yes, knowledge that I can act, from my little corner of the world, to help others and create or at least catalyze change. Let me know what your thoughts are.

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  1. That’s interesting, I always define myself as disabled but mostly because of community, the disability community saved my life so this identity gives me strenght, it helped me more than any other community I’m a part of and it made me aware of many things in my life.
    While I’m limited by my disabilities I see this as part of it and not as being handicapped by it, it’s just kind of a natural part of it together with feeling empowered. Does that make sense?

    • It makes all the sense in the world. When I accept the fact that I am disabled, I feel more at home in my own skin. At times I fight with it because I would rather be practicing medicine, and my disability prevents me from doing that and a lot of other things; yet when I accept the fact of my disability and reach out into the disability community I feel empowered, too.


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