Only 20 percent of all spinal cord injuries happen to women. As a result, most treatments are designed for men. But treating men and women in the same way isn’t always practical. Although many of the psychological and medical needs are similar, women with paralysis have other specific needs.
Heather Taylor, PHD, Psychologist & Director of Spinal Cord Injury and Disability Research, TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital in Houston, says though reproductive needs are the most obvious, and even most pressing, women with paralysis have other specific needs. “It’s important that women recognize they are different,” Taylor says. You can watch Taylor talk about women with spinal cord injury by clicking here.
“They process healing differently, as well as any depression related to their injuries. Even adjustments and the anatomical manner in which their bodies must conform to learning the new normal of bowel and bladder and personal hygiene are vastly different from men.” Taylor also suggests that women have their own unique strengths when it comes to living with paralysis. “Women often can hone those strengths to improve their quality of life.”
Click here to watch more videos of Heather Taylor talking about the psychological realities of living with spinal cord injury.
Do you know a woman with a spinal cord injury who thinks we could use more female differentiation? Maybe you are a woman with paralysis who has a success story to share. Or a family member of one? Leave your comments below. (They totally help others :))