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Obsessed with being disabled


DSP7
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I have a sister who has been told her entire life that she is severely mentally handicapped. This is simply not true. She is a functioning adult for the most part, now, married with a child. But she is completely obsessed with staying on disability and telling sob stories in order to get more resources and hand outs. I work with the developmentally disabled disabled community as well as individuals with simmilar needs and grew up around the same people and influences that she did. Both of us were ruled severely handicapped, yet I am gainfully emplpyed, married and not relying on any government aide, not even food stamps. Is there a name for a learned disability? I should metion she is also my twin. We are polar opposites, personality wise, though. Any tips? 

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Hello, DSP7, welcome! :) 

I don't have tips, but some questions and comments, at least.

How does your sister explain it? What is the reason she gives for not wanting to find a job? How does she react to your encouragements to find a job?

And why would she consider herself to be able to take care of a child (if "so disabled" as she thinks)? 

It's easy and natural to internalize what people say about you and then act accordingly. It's not surprising. I would perhaps rather ask you what helped you to dismiss what others used to say about your disability. And how your sister sees you? Does she think you're "much less disabled than her" or that you're "an exception able to work even though so disabled"? 

Also, what are your motivations when trying to find some help here, for her? Why do you suppose she "should" have a job? Is she sad or desperate about her situation? Are there some other "signs" that she should rather be employed?

(BTW; an article about twins with different personalities - about the search for causes of such differences: http://io9.gizmodo.com/how-do-identical-twins-develop-different-personalities-497857032)

Take care!

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