How to Overcome Confidence Issues with Prostheses

Let’s be realistic here, losing a limb is not an easy process. It is physically painful and leaves a patient with many questions and doubts. It is scary and makes you wonder who you are now. While most prostheses can help amputees physically, there are still many psychological, emotional, and even spiritual hurdles one must overcome.

So… Here are some tips for overcoming the confidence issues that can often accompany amputation and receiving new prosthetic legs.

  1. Remember, you’re still who you are.

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After losing a limb, it can feel like you’ve lost an important part of yourself – in a way, you have! While prosthetic legs are very helpful, they don’t always fill the void. Physically, you look different and life will never be the same. But remember, having a prosthesis does not need to define you. It’s far more than just looks. The things that make you a unique person – your history, your family, your beliefs, the things you’ve done, the people you’ve loved – these things cannot be lost unless you allow them to be.

2. Surround yourself with people that always love and encourage you!

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It’s important to surround yourself with family and friends who will both encourage you and challenge you. It’s those types of people who respond with empathy, but also maintain high levels of expectation from you. In other words, you don’t want people who do everything for you and treat you as if you’re not capable, as this will only prolong recovery time. However, each individual is different, and it’s important for your family and friends to recognize where you are and what you really need to recover and regain self-confidence.

Now, if you do not have a positive support in your life, I’d encourage you to join a local support group for amputees. You’ll find a group of people who have experienced many of the same emotions and challenges as you – in an encouraging and empowering atmosphere.

3. Get back to doing what you are passionate about.

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One of the best ways to develop confidence is to get back to doing what you used to do or are passionate about. People need to be productive to feel satisfied, and a good prosthesis can enable you to do just about anything you desire to do. You can and should still go to work, clean the house, go skiing, ride your motorcycle, run marathons, and more. Your amputation doesn’t need to hold you back, and actually experiencing this will help you gain confidence more quickly.

4. There is no formula for coping with an amputation.

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It is merely you dealing with yourself and your emotions. It’s not easy but it is not impossible.

I hope these tips have been helpful. But remember, each person overcomes amputation differently. Things like your personality, social environment, and previous life experiences will affect the way you cope with a prosthesis. Just be true to yourself, surround yourself with great people and get back to what you are passionate about! You’ve got this! 🙂

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