January 27, 2019

What about the mind?

Kirsten Pillatt


I wrote this piece from the point of view of a below the knee amputee. I focused on his mind-set mostly as although a physical disability, there is an inherent link between mental health and physical disability. I wanted to use his senses; smell, touch, vision, auditory, temperature and finally pain; both mental and physical to highlight the systemic aches which can often present with depression. Can physical disability exist without an effect on mental health?
Out with supportive measures within a medical capacity, I wanted to present someone in their home, on the weekend and alone. He’s been given a crutch for his physical being, medication for the pain but what about him – his mental anguish?
At the beginning, I focused on his surroundings and how he has grown detached from his belongings, but he still exists there, although he can’t relate to himself at this time.
I purposely did not elude to his physical disability until the very end to allow a fuller insight of his mind and view of himself rather than a bystander viewing him. From my reflection, often what we see of someone is their physical aid rather than them, and so I wanted the reader to see him as who he is, and not drawn to a crutch on first glance.