Stop Comparing One Person's Disability to Another's
There are a lot of stigmas in society, and living with a disability has its fair share of stigmas. As a society, we often like to compare things. We are addicted to comparing things; we have whole reality shows dedicated to it. Sometimes comparing one thing to another is how we try to understand it. Yet, there is danger in comparing someone’s disability to another person’s disability. Everyone’s bodies are unique and so are their disabilities.
There has been a long history of comparing disabilities. Doctors often will compare one patient to another. This can sometimes be helpful in the diagnosis process, but other times, medical professionals will use patient comparisons to gaslight another patient.
We even see this prejudice and internalized ableism in the disability community itself. I know it’s hard when we ourselves have a disability and we tend to compare our standards and abilities to someone else who is disabled. Maybe you can hold a full-time job, maybe you can exercise and live a basically “normal” life. And it’s hard to understand why that other disabled person who has “the same condition as you” is at home on disability or just can’t handle as much as you. So you call them lazy. Or maybe you think if they can hold a job and do all the things a “normal” person can do, then they aren’t really disabled.
We need to do better. You never know everything someone is going through. You don’t know all their diagnoses. They might have more than one. Your body is not the same — stop comparing! They are not lazy for doing less than you, and you are not lazy for doing less than them. They aren’t “less disabled” for being able to do more.
Stop comparing someone’s disability to another person’s disability. Everyone’s bodies are unique and so are their disabilities.
Getty image by SI Photography.