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Claire's Midterm Project!

ceburdick's picture
PDF icon Burdick_Midterm Project.pdf707.78 KB


zoet's picture

Thank you for sharing your personal stories, Claire! Your vignette style was very effective for portraying how these memories are simultaneously disjointed and vivid. I felt very absorbed in your writing! I particularly appreciated your criticism of the social model of disability. It changed my thinking to make me realize that the social model, without some recognition of the medical model/impairment/unhealthiness, does a disservice to disabled folks by minimizing or ignoring their pain and need for medication. I admired your vulnerability and self-reflection in the pride section. I also really liked the two portraits, particularly together: they show how disability and developing identity can be both difficult and painful, while at other times, sources of pride and self-love.  

Thank you for sharing! 

emiller's picture

The ways that one's experience in becoming disabled directly influence their formation of a disabled identity are so interesting (wow, are we psych majors or something?!)

I was only diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a chronic illness/disability, a year ago, but have been showing symptoms since I was 8. Because I spent the first twelve years that I was experiencing problems assuming that my various health issues were unrelated (and often, that they were my fault or just in my imagination), I have no identity related to my disability at this point. 

On the other hand, as you so eloquently related in your paper, your chronic illness has been central to your identity development, but with its own complications due to not remembering the actual events.

On the other other hand, countless elderly people become chronically sick and disabled but do not identify as disabled. Disability is an omnipresent aspect of aging, but isn't usually looked at as disability (at least by name).

Quick side note: Looking at how disabled and chronically ill individuals incorporate this into their identities, based on what they can remember, when they started having symptoms, when they were diagnosed, etc. would be a really cool psych study!