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Welcome to the Impaired Self Blog!

David Feingold's picture

My name is David Feingold.  It is hard to believe that it has been 7 years since my first contribution to Serendip, which was "Disability: Images and Thoughts."   It was made possible through the interest of Professor Paul Grobstein, who felt a kinship to my work as an artist, social worker and at that time, a doctoral student in Disability Studies.  He found a place for my work on Serendip, wherein it was able to generate discussions and dialog amongst students and Serendip visitors. Students' and visitors' comments on my artwork and accompanying texts were instrumental in allowing me to come up with an entirely new concept in Disability Studies, called the Impaired Self.  If you were to do a search of the paired words, "impaired self" on the internet, you would not find it as a standalone term, but rather as a prefix to other word combinations, such as "impaired self-esteem," "impaired self-control," "impaired self-regulation," "impaired self-awarness," and the list goes on.  Simply put, the Impaired Self is a compromised psycho-emotional state of the Self that becomes impaired due to repeated stressors and challenges relating to having one or more impairments and/or disabilities.  It suggests, for instance that someone with the disability of Bipolar Disorder, must deal with an additional level of challenges over and above the emotional, social, behavioral, and neurological challenges associated with the disorder.  In this case, the Self itself becomes impaired through things such as social isolation, rejection, shame, infantilization, prejudice, stigma, etc.  I’m looking forward to adding to the Impaired Self blog and invite you to offer your comments, insights, questions, and suggestions!  In the meantime, feel free to peruse my website, which among other things, includes my artwork and an introduction to the Impaired Self."  More to come!

The Following is a picture I modified from a photograph of Professor Grobstein.  This was given a prominent placement in my doctoral dissertation.