How do I deal with impairments of the body (Tamil)
If you have got any impairments of the body as a consequence of leprosy, it is very important that you keep taking special care of your body and mental health. It is very important that you don’t hide your impairment. Instead, talk to a health worker and ask for support. There may be trainings where you can learn how to move the affected part of your body, how to take care of it, such as physio- or occupational therapy or in some cases surgical therapy.
Similarly, for leprosy in general, it is important to know that impairments of the body are not a curse from God, and it is not caused by evil spirits. It is not true, that you have impairments of the body because you have committed sins in your past or because you are bad person.
There is no reason to reject you, exclude you or refuse to allow you to participate in social life in the family or community, in religious festivals or other activities. There is no reason that divorce is seen as acceptable for this reason. Your social life should not be hindered. You can continue schooling or going to work. If you can no longer do the work because of the impairment of the body, please talk to a health worker or community development officers or local authorities and ask for support. There may be other work you can do. You can live with positive mental wellbeing the life you want to live with your family in the community.
At the same time, you have to handle a lot of issues, and may face discrimination, social rejection or social exclusion and this can lead to mental health conditions, like depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts. If you are suffering from this, don’t be afraid. It is not true that this means that you are crazy. Many people in this situation feel the same and you can get support. There may be a self-help group, where you can talk about your feelings and get support from other people in the same situation. Here, you can learn about your rights, and how to make use of them. You can learn how to make your own decisions and take control of your life. There may be other options as well like individual support. Please talk to a health worker and ask for psychosocial support.