The SALT Foundation

Understanding Your Psychosocial Disability with NDIS4 min read

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Understanding Your Psychosocial Disability with NDIS

What is a Psychosocial Disability?

The NDIS describes psychosocial disabilities as disabilities that may have arisen from mental health issues.

Psychosocial disability refers to two behaviours:

  • Psychological (mind and emotions).
  • Social (taking part in society and your surrounding environment).


The NDIS also describes it as the consequences of how a mental health issue or disability has affected your life. Not everyone with a mental health issue will have a psychosocial disability, but many are affected.

People with a psychosocial disability may find it difficult to take part in social activities, to set goals and make plans, and engage in education, training and employment. If you have a psychosocial disability, then let us know and we can arrange some support for you.

How Do Psychosocial Disabilities Affect People?

Psychosocial disorders can affect a person’s ability to:

  • Concentrate.
  • Interact with others.
  • Be in certain types of environments.
  • Understand constructive feedback.
  • Have the stamina to complete tasks.
  • Manage stress.
  • Cope with time pressures.


What are Psychosocial Disabilities? 

Some examples of psychosocial disabilities include:

  • Mood disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder.
  • Schizoid disorders, such as schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder.
  • Anxiety disorders, such as anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.


Let’s look at each of these in more depth.

Mood Disorders

Clinical Depression 

Psychiatrists define clinical depression as a persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest.

Some symptoms and characteristics:

  • Persistently depressed mood.
  • Loss of interest in activities.
  • Excessive sleep or insomnia.
  • Lack of motivation to complete everyday tasks.
  • Anxiety.
  • Excessive crying.
  • Irritability.
  • Social isolation.
  • Lack of concentration.
  • Excessive hunger or loss of appetite .
  • Thoughts of suicide.


Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder involves episodes of mood swings from manic highs to depressive lows lasting from days to months. Depressive episodes include low motivation and energy, and loss of interest in daily activities. 

Some symptoms and characteristics:

  • Elevated mood.
  • Euphoria.
  • Risk-taking behaviour.
  • Apathy.
  • Disorganised behaviour.
  • Delusions.
  • Impulsivity.
  • Lack of concentration.
  • Difficulty falling asleep or excessive sleepiness.
  • Paranoia.


Schizoid Disorders


This is a disorder which affects a person’s ability to feel, behave and think clearly. 

Some symptoms and characteristics:

  • Experiences or thoughts which seem out of touch with reality.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Excitability.
  • Disorganised speech or behaviour.
  • Repetitive movements.
  • Decreased participation in daily activities.
  • Memory difficulty.
  • Compulsive behaviour.
  • Hostility.


Schizoaffective Disorder

This mental health condition includes schizophrenia and other mood disorder symptoms.

Some symptoms and characteristics:

  • Delusions.
  • Manic periods of high energy.
  • Racing thoughts.
  • Depression.
  • Mood swings.
  • Social isolation.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Restlessness.


Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety Disorder

This disorder is characterised by worry and fear which interferer’s with daily life and activities. Anxiety disorder encompasses obsessive-compulsive disorders, generalised anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Some symptoms and characteristics:

  • Panic attacks.
  • Inability to set aside worry.
  • Anxiety.
  • Lack of concentration.
  • Insomnia.
  • Unwanted thoughts.
  • Irritability.


Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

This disorder includes obsessions, repetitive thoughts, which lead to compulsions, repetitive behaviours. 

Some symptoms and characteristics:

  • Repetition of words or movements.
  • Ritualistic behaviour.
  • Hypervigilance.
  • Impulsivity.
  • Compulsive behaviour.
  • Social isolation.
  • Anxiety.
  • Panic attack.
  • Repetitive thoughts.
  • Depression.
  • Fear.
  • Food aversion.


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

This disorder involves the difficulty and failure to recover from witnessing or experiencing a frightening event. 

Some symptoms and characteristics:

  • Intense emotional and physical reactions.
  • Triggered memories from the event.
  • Flashbacks.
  • Nightmares.
  • Avoidance of situations which trigger trauma.
  • Anxiety or mistrust.
  • Emotional detachment.
  • Unwanted thoughts.
  • Depression.
  • Mistrust.
  • Hypervigilance.


How Can the NDIS and Disability Services and Support Help?

The NDIS allows you to have choice and control over the services and supports you need.

Here at the SALT Foundation, we can provide you with capacity-building supports to empower you to live independently and confidently.

Examples of the activities our support workers can help you with include:

  • Attending appointments.
  • Getting things off your chest.
  • Engaging in social groups.
  • Going for walks.
  • Receiving help with household cleaning.


Look at our capacity-building supports to get an idea of the range of services we can offer you. To get started, call us on 1300 777 258 or fill out the form below and we’ll get in touch with you in two business days.


We're always here if you want to talk 1300 777 258.
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