Psychological Disabilities refer to the chronic disorders in one’s thinking, emotion or behaviour due to the mental, physical or environmental impacts, resulting in the severe influence and suffering in one’s daily life.

Common psychological disabilities include depression, anxiety, bulimia, anorexia, sleep disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychosis, schizophrenia etc. Although everyone shares the possibility of having psychological disorders, generally speaking, as long as s/he finds an effective way to combat the disorder, s/he can return to normal after a period of time. However, people with psychological disabilities may need a much longer time as well as professional intervention to recover.

Similar to other physical or mental disabilities, the symptoms of psychological disabilities are beyond the control of the person concerned. While severe mental disorders may lead to the fluctuations of emotions, disordered thoughts, changes on personality or preference, and even self-mutilation or suicidal thoughts, however, most patients show no injurious behaviour, and can be recovered through psychotherapy, medication and behaviour therapy.

Even though psychological disabilities can cause difficulties to one’s learning, daily life and social interaction, many people who are in therapies and the support of family and friends still manage to overcome difficulties and achieve considerable success. For example, the American mathematician and Nobel Laureate in Economics, Professor John Nash, who has been suffering from schizophrenia; the well-known Hong Kong lyricist Lam Chik, who has been hagridden by depression; the Hong Kong director Alfred Cheung, who had once suffered from anxiety; and many other famous athletes, businessmen, entertainers etc, to name a few.

  • The analyzing, concentrating, memorizing, interpersonal and self-care abilities that they possessed will be weakened by their mental status, and therefore more energy are needed for them to cope with their daily lives;
  • They can feel stressed more easily, which leads to insomnia, lack of appetite, poor physical conditions and other physiological problems;
  • They are more sensitive to negative information, and are incapable of coping with pressure;
  • Because of their emotional and behavioural instability, they are likely to be isolated  and discriminated by their peers, thus causing the feelings of self-abasement and behaviours of social withdrawal and gradually become a vicious cycle;
  • Some students with psychological disabilities who are under psychotherapy may be affected by the side-effects of the medication.

How to Help Students with Psychological Disabilities