Prof. Nevzat Tarhan: “The biggest handicap is being ‘labelled’”

Psychiatrist Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said that the biggest handicap that disabled people face in the society is being “labeled” and added, “Especially being labelled pose the greatest obstacle for these individuals. That individual becomes isolated by thinking that ‘I am disabled’. There are some excessive protective approaches towards these individuals with these sayings such as ‘You are disabled, just stay at home’, ‘You have a disability, don’t do that’, which have been sometimes seen within the society”. Highlighting the important of bringing strong qualities of disabled individuals out, Tarhan said that psychological needs such as especially feeling of security and attachment must be met.

President of Üsküdar University, Psychiatrist Prof. Nevzat Tarhan made his remarks on having disabilities and psychological obstacles on the opportunity of the December 3 World Disability Day.

A purpose determined right is what makes a person act

Prof. Nevzat Tarhan stated that an individual can always be successful and happy if they hold on to a purpose by focusing their strengths and weakness, by determining a purpose for themselves and by having an excellent mental performance. Tarhan said: “What makes a person take action is the purpose and determining the purpose right.  Those with psychological obstacles are those saying, ‘I cannot do it’. Learned helplessness is to say ‘I cannot do it, I do not know it’. There is such a working system of our brain that it programs itself by its own. When you say ‘I cannot do it’, it creates negative network, perceives it and transit into a negative state. In that way, it performs avoidant behaviors. However, that person comes across with opportunities related to that topic when they say ‘I can do it, I have these strengths and I can achieve this. I can improve this’.  They use this opportunity and they achieve it.”.

“Being labelled” is the biggest handicap

Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said that the obstacle that disabled individuals face the most is being ‘labelled’ and Tarhan stated: “Especially being labelled pose the greatest obstacle for these individuals. That individual becomes isolated by thinking that ‘I am disabled’. There are some excessive protective approaches towards these individuals with these sayings such as ‘You are disabled, just stay at home’, ‘You have a disability, don’t do that’, which have been sometimes seen within the society. That’s why, their skills cannot be improved. The way we treat individuals with disabilities is crucial. Excessive affection has also an adverse effect on these individuals. They feel pathetic. In that way, they feel depressed.”.

An open-minded person can be successful despite of everything

Prof. Nevzat Tarhan expressed that a person can overcome many obstacles when they are open-minded even though they were born with disabilities. Tarhan said: “a person can think, imagine and develop a theory if their mind is working. Then, they can realize it. Therefore, they can inspire many people. They can be a person who is an example for everybody. Thus, it is very important to increase participation of disabled peoples in social life. 50% of the society is advantaged ad 50% of the society is disadvantaged.”.  Prof. Nevzat Tarhan stated disability ration worldwide is 15% according to the statistics published due to World Disability Day and said: “Unfortunately, 80% of these individuals from undeveloped countries.”.

Emotional blindness must be avoided

Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said there are very serious attitude mistakes in approaching to disabled individuals and there are quite wrong behaviors on the matter regarding the participation of these individuals. Tarhan expressed: “We say ‘do not intervene with a person’s disability, privacy and their sacred’. When a person violates other person’s limits on these three topics, conflicts can occur. For instance, you cannot know a person’s private life since you do not know them. If your relation with that person develops, that topic also develops according to its natural course. Otherwise, you cannot establish a right communication with the opposite attitude. If you say ‘Oh no, what happened to you?’ without knowing a person, you immediately lose the communication. You should not ask immediately ask the reason for a physical handicap to a person. We mostly cannot do it as society. Usually, it is meant well. Mostly, it is approached to that situation with a pity. Seeing it like this is an emotional stupidity. It can be called as emotional deafness, emotional blindness, which it is not understanding feelings of the other person.”.

The approach towards disabled individuals determines their adaption

Recording that those with inmate disability adapt better to life in comparison to those with acquired disability, Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said that those with acquired disabilities adapt later to life. Stating that conscious approach to adaptation of disabled individuals to society and life is important, Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said that “The attitude toward these individuals determines these individuals’ adaptation. The most important factor differentiating developed countries from undeveloped countries is their attitude towards disadvantaged individuals. If there is a healthy and conscious approach towards disadvantage individuals, their adaptation is successful according to that approach.”

“Accept and manage” method must be applied

Expressing that another thing that makes a disabled individual to hold on to the life is that they accept their situation, Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said “The method of accept & manage applied in psychotherapies is important. There is a thing a person can bear and there is another thing that a person cannot.  There are things that you can handle as a disabled individual. You should accept this in that case and you will create a reason. This is the accepting and managing method. We see disabled individuals’ achievements in many areas when they apply this method. They accept everything they have and they set a goal for themselves. In that way, they do not focus their disability and they improve their mind by setting a new goal.”.

It is very important that a person focus on their strength

Stating that it is aimed to bring out strengths in education for disabled individuals, Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said: “We are searching for strengths of a person instead of their disability or weakness. We try to provide that they focus on their strong qualities. When a person focuses on their strengths, that person enforce those qualities after a while. When they achieve small successes, they hold on to the life more. They receive social acceptance. This is very important and effective to make sense of life.”.

Psychological needs must be met

Prof. Nevzat Tarhan emphasized that a person’s psychological needs are important as much as physiological and biological needs. Tarhan said: “A person has needs such as loving, being loved, being protected, feeling safe. If a person does not feel safe, they do not feel that they belong to that place. In that case, that person feels bad and lonely. Now, the main concern in especially developed societies is that people cannot meet their needs for relationship. Loneliness is one of the most important problems today. It has begun to affect adversely advancing ages, children and young people.”. Prof. Nevzat Tarhan indicated the importance of socializing for especially disabled individuals.

Their social aspect is getting stronger thank to special educations

Stating the importance of special education in adaptation of disabled individuals to social life, Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said “It is very important that disadvantaged individuals receive education within groups. Social learning helps these individual to acquire great inputs.  A person can know mathematics in non-verbal learning difficulties; however, they cannot talk to somebody. When everybody laughs, they do not understand why they are laughing. They become alone in the class. They cannot read emotions. All of these aspects develop in a class. This is called sensory integration education. Senses of humans work individually. That is, they work in a big integration and there is a balance. A person must always be in relation for that balance, a person must have security.”.

Indicating the importance of a person feeling safe, Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said “A safe zone must be at home. They will feel safe at workplace. That is, the feeling of security is the most fundamental psychological needs of a person.”.

Üsküdar News Agency (ÜNA)