Pessimistic About the Future

November 17, 2009

I recently read an article about pessimism and health. People who are optimistic handle health problems better and have a 16% lower risk of heart attack. Pessimists have a 19% higher risk of early death. Optimists have a healthier immune system and cope with pain better. What distinguishes an optimist from a pessimist? Optimists expect “positive future expectations”. Pessimists tend to take the least hopeful views of situations and often feel helpless to fix a problem.

So, I guess if you’re the parent of a child with developmental disabilities you’re doomed. With huge waiting lists for services and no guarantees that their children will be cared for when they can no longer provide that care, how can they be optimistic? How can they possibly have “positive future expectations” when there is so little to support them? How can they not feel “helpless to fix a problem” when families have neither the tools nor the resources to support the needs of their children?

Here in New Jersey our governor has announced the need for a $400 million mid-year budget cut. And, the Department of Developmental Disabilities is being asked to come up with their contribution. Families are dramatically underserved now. How much more can they be expected to give? The governor needs to hear from individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. He needs to hear about the serious situations that families are facing. He needs to know that any cut will impact individuals and families already overburdened. Please contact the governor immediately and tell him your story. Tell him about your family and why you cannot help but be pessimistic about the future. Tell him why individuals with developmental disabilities and their families have nothing left to give.

(Go to for a quick and easy way to send your message to the governor.)

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