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Sight loss: emotions and relationships

Living with a disability can have an impact on your emotional life. It can affect the way you feel about yourself and those around you.

The physical limitations that you experience, as well as others' attitudes towards your impairment, can sometimes be very frustrating. You may also experience feelings of social isolation and loneliness, so having a good social and support network is vital.  

Emotional wellbeing

You may not make an immediate connection between sight loss and emotional wellbeing, but sight loss is indeed a loss; allowing yourself to come to terms with that loss is fundamental to your emotional wellbeing.

How you do this will depend on your general emotional wellbeing as well as your existing social and support network. You may find that you're able to talk it through with family and friends, or you may find that counselling is best for you. What matters is that you stay well and balanced, and take steps to ensure that feelings of sadness or depression are handled with care.

Counselling via your GP

Depending on where you live, you may be able to get counselling via your GP. If this is not available, you can ask your GP to refer you to a local organisation that may be able to help.

Emotional support services

The RNIB has an emotional support service for visually impaired people, which can be accessed via the Emotional support service page of the RNIB website.

Action for Blind People offers counselling and emotional support in specific areas of the UK. To find out more, please visit the Counselling & emotional support section of the Action for Blind People website.

If you prefer to find emotional support tailored specifically for Jewish people, contact Jewish Care Direct at 0208 922 2222. The Jewish Helpline can also assist you. That number is 0800 652 9249.

For general emotional support any time of day or night, the Samaritans are there to help.

Relationships with friends, family and colleagues

Unless you have other disabilities or health conditions, you probably won't have great care needs because of your visual impairment, but this doesn't mean that you don't need help or support in some of your daily activities, and this support usually comes from friends, family and colleagues.

If you are fiercely independent, you may find asking for help quite difficult. If you can look at asking for help as being in control of your dependencies, rather than not being independent, this can be quite life changing. It is incredibly liberating to be okay with asking people around you to help. If you are clear and upfront with people and don't ask them to do things you are perfectly capable of doing, you will find people incredibly accommodating.

Relationships, in general, are pretty complicated, so understanding and being in control of your needs ensures that having a visual impairment does not make your relationships any more so. For more information on connecting with loved ones and people you care about—and who care about you—visit the Emotional wellbeing section of Jewish Care Interact.

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