A guide to the emotional impact of sight loss

How can sight loss affect you emotionally?

Image of Joanna, Henshaws Counseller

Being diagnosed with sight loss can be life-changing. It not only can affect you physically and practically, it can also affect you emotionally.

Sight loss can often result in a range of emotions which are similar to experiencing a bereavement, from shock, denial, anger, frustration, anxiety and fear to sadness and helplessness.

These are all common reactions to sight loss, and it is important to know that it is natural to feel these emotions as they are part of a process, and there will be a period of adjustment and loss from the life you used to have to the life you have now.

Our very own counsellor at Henshaws, Joanna, has put together a guide to some of these emotions, as well as some handy prompts to help you process them.

What are some common reactions to sight loss?

Below are some of the emotional reactions to sight loss you may experience, and how the right support can help you to get through them.

Remember, amidst the challenges, you may also experience resilience, adaptation, and personal growth in the face of sight loss.

Support from family, friends, and professionals, along with access to practical support such as rehabilitation and assistive technology, can significantly contribute to emotional well-being and help you navigate your new circumstances.

Seeking emotional support such as counselling, or joining peer support groups, can also be beneficial for coping with the emotional impact of sight loss.

Everyone’s way of dealing with sight loss is different, and everyone will feel ready to come to terms with it at different times, and will come to terms with it in different ways.

It’s totally normal for your mindset to fluctuate, and there may be days, weeks or months when you feel positive about your sight loss, but at other times you may feel less positive depending on circumstances that may be out of your control.

What are some ways I can process my emotions?

Part of coming to terms with the emotional impact of your sight loss is processing your emotions, both positive and negative, and acknowledging them.

However, you may find it difficult knowing where to start, so below are some prompts suggested by Joanna.

This is just a small selection of prompts to support you when processing your emotions, both positive and negative.

While acknowledging emotions can be challenging, in time, it should hopefully alter your mindset, and acknowledging how you are feeling will become easier over time.

What are the benefits of counselling when you have sight loss?

Below are quotes from two of our wonderful service users, who explain the positive impact that counselling has had on them:

I am a very private person and have never spoken to anyone about my worries, now the load feels lighter. Thank you for giving me the space to do that.
I now realise I can open up to others without the sky falling in as it’s okay to ask for help.

Service user

The hardest part of coming to terms with my sight loss condition has been navigating through the emotions of it, thank you for your knowledge and support, life feels more manageable now.

Service user
Henshaws graphic with pink and purple shapes

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