Nancy Mairs Disability

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Disability Does Not Mean Different Some people with perfect health or no diagnosed mental disorders may look at someone with a disability as a person less fortunate, less productive, or even useless. They might wish they didn’t have to see them, hear or read about any of their problems. They might think that the government should or should not help, but they should not be so quick to judge or differentiate. The mentally and physically disabled are every bit as normal as the same people who so rudely define them as different. People with physical or mental disabilities lead rich and constructive life’s every day, all around us and there may be a lot more of them then you might think. In their essays Disabilities and The Best Kept Secret on…show more content…
In the essay, Disability, by Nancy Mairs, she explains how the media of her day, in particular a local advertiser chooses not to include disabled people in his spots. She asked him why he will not do this and his response was “We don’t want to give people the idea that our product is just for the handicapped.” She goes on to say “the advertisers masked a deeper and more anxious rationale: To depict disabled people in the ordinary activities of daily life is to admit that there is something ordinary about disability itself, that it may enter anybody’s life. If it is effaced completely, or at least isolated as a separate “problem,” so that it remains at a safe distance from other human issues, then the viewer won’t feel threatened by her or his own physical vulnerability films such as Duet for One, portrays disabilities as things that define the people that have them and that they aren’t normal. As Mairs says “I’m not, for instance, Ms. MS, a walking, talking embodiment of a chronic, incurable, degenerative disease. In most ways I’m just like every other women my age, nationality, and socio-economical background. I worry about bad breath. I drive a car, talk on the phone, and eat pizza.” Basically saying that she does normal things and has ordinary problems, just like everyone else. The misconceptions about disabilities and mental illnesses are the reason why most people refuse…show more content…
Rosie Anaya, a student in college wrote an essay last year about the physiological problems that affect our college students called, The Best Kept Secret on Campus. These problems can range from anxiety to depression to acute bipolar disorder. She talks about the staggering numbers of students with these problems and the lack of help from the universities. In this essay she states that a 2008 study found that “62% of students have experienced feelings of hopelessness, nearly 90% have felt overwhelmed or emotionally exhausted, nearly 50% have been so depressed they have trouble functioning, 15% have been formally diagnosed with depression and almost 10% contemplated suicide. These numbers are surprisingly high; however a vast majority of students are not receiving the help they need to deal with these major disabilities. In fact, another study states that “three out of four American students would be unwilling to ask for help even if they were certain they needed it, because they perceive mental illness as embarrassing or shameful.” In conclusion, the best thing the media can do to help those of us with disabilities is to make everyone comfortable and enlightened that we all may succumb to one form of disability at one time in our life and more than likely already know someone who is dealing with it around us. As Nancy Mairs said in her essay, “achieving this integration, for disabled and able-bodied people alike, requires

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