Can People Who Have Physical or Mental Illnesses Run a Business?

every time I'm told I should go on ssi

Some people truly need support from the government if they can’t work like the used to or have a severe physical, emotional, or mental handicap. My sisters in fact have to receive S.S.I.

However, society often labels anyone who has a mental illness or physical sickness a total loser or failure who could never run a business. They get stigmatized as the ones who should wear a white coat, ride the city bus, and receive a government S.S.I. check. However, I don’t think most people in this situation should have to feel imprisoned. It’s not their fault they were dealt a hand that’s hard to beat, but I believe they still can overcome against all odds. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to believe in myself. 

My Own Discriminating Poverty Story

I must’ve spent half my life not even having a decent car to drive. Now, I should say this:

I started this article out by stating how society discriminates against mentally ill people. However, I forgot one thing:

I was judged for being poor, not for having a mental illness.

One time, I hoped for money to fix my vehicle for my birthday so I could continue going to my client’s houses to clean them. It was my bread and butter, but instead of receiving any kind of monetary help, I received a “Recovery Bible.” As if I didn’t already own the Bible and read God’s Word! (I don’t always, but at that time in my life I did more than I do now.)

I also remember this:

Someone else said to me, “You need emotional support.”

“I don’t need emotional support! I need money!” I exclaimed.

I often received the message that something’s wrong with me as a person. That’s why I was poor, and I couldn’t possibly succeed unless I “recover” from problem this or that issue! How mean is that!

It was true, I really did need money and reliable transportation and not just emotional support. More than that, I didn’t need to keep being told that something was wrong with me every time I tried and failed at something!

On the other hand, I was always too proud to ask for money or resources. I also never wanted to live off food stamps (food card now), S.S.I., rental assistance, or any other public funding as long as I could help it. 

However, in my case, it was because I believed it was possible for me to achieve financial freedom. I strove to be independent of government support of all kinds and just sustain myself. I still have that as my objective, and hope I’ll reach that goal. I haven’t given up yet.

Capitalize On your Strengths to Realize True Success

Even if you have post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorder, or have bouts of severe depression you can succeed. Whether your mental illness hit you later in life because you could no longer deal with the stress of childhood mental, emotional, sexual, or physical abuse, or you were born with it, you can still have success.

You can even still run a business if you want to. “But I can’t see,” you said.

“Then find an occupation where all you need is your hands, ears, mouth, or feet,’” I replied.

“But I can’t walk very well.”

“Then get a sit-down job or work from home!”

focus on what you can to not what you can't do

Focus on what you can to, not what you can’t do. That’s how God helps each one of us realize our true success.

There’s more to my story, but for now, I just encourage others to do what they can do and not focus on what they can’t do. 

Famous People who Experienced Hard Times

I wrote a couple of years ago about famous people who experienced hard times. It still inspires me, because I hope to achieve some level of financial freedom like they did. I’m on my way there, but not quite yet. I republished this entry here, and includes well-known names. 

Even People Who Do Collect Government Checks Aren’t Losers!

Many of the people who do collect a monthly government check don’t have to feel like losers. They would have it easier if they allowed people who received public disability funds to save money to get out from under the poverty line, but they still can if they are determined. 

I hope that doesn’t have to be me — ever unable to work and have to collect a government check. However, I also should say that people who do are not losers. Some of them may not be able to do some of the things that the average person can do, such as walk, talk, read, or speak. 

However, they sometimes have unusual talents and those should be realized whenever possible. No one should have to feel as if their life is over until it’s actually over!


  1. Wow. You don't know much about mental illnesses then. I know a lot of people suffering from depression, bipolar, PTSD and other problems that are successful at running their own business.

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