Roberta M. Diddel is the founder and Executive Director of Disability 101, a psychologist and a guest lecturer in Psychology at Rice University.
How do you know you are Living Smart?
“I think you know you’re living smart with a chronic disease or a disability when you can put things in the background; when you can spend long periods of time not thinking about your pain, your fatigue, your predicament because you’re so focused on what other people want, need, on what you’re doing for them. That’s what enables you to rise above the human condition.” - Roberta M. Diddel
On Living Smart, she discusses how to cope and thrive with a disability.
There are 43 million people who are disabled in America. Roberta Diddel PhD., a doctor in psychology and the founder and Executive Director of Disability 101 created an educational program to empower them and their families. After surviving a car accident with a spinal chord injury when she was 20 years old, Dr. Diddel became an advocate for the disabled. During her rehabilitation, Diddel realized that other disabled people didn’t have the positive attitude she had, so she dedicated her life to changing their lives and attitudes. As a former trainer for the American Psychological Association HIV’s office and a specialist in Psychological Clinical Studies, Diddel uses her own experience, skills and knowledge of brain and spinal injury, dementia, chronic pain and illness to help others cope with their disability. Diddel created Disability 101 in an effort to help families and people who suffer from disabilities to accept new challenges and find new opportunities.
Diddel also serves as a lecturer in Psychology at Rice University where she teaches clinical studies and has taught many workshops and classes through Continuing Education and at Woman Studies Houston. She is also a trainer for the National MS Society. Through her program, she hopes the disabled will get the encouragement they need to live life fully. She lives with her husband in Houston Texas.
“We say we’re looking for the meaning of life, but I think what we’re looking for is the feeling of being fully alive.”
Joseph Campbell from the Power of Myth
I am riding on a limited express, one of the crack trains of the nation. Hurtling across the prairie into blue haze and dark air go fifteen all-steel ocahces holding a thousand people. (All the coaches shall be scrap and rust and all the men and women laughing in the diners and sleepers shall pass to ashes). I ask a man in the smoker where he is going and he answers: ‘Omaha.”’
3. Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services: www.dads.state.tx.us
1. Psychology Works
2. National Organization on Disability
“Reacting & adapting to lupus”
Roberta Diddel, Lupus Erythematosus Network (2003)
“Gender differences in health and health care”
Roberta Diddel, Texas Psychologist (2000)
“The grief process in chronic disease”
Roberta Diddel, Living with Fibromyalgia: A Practical Guide to Coping (1998)
“Psychologists’ use of directed reading as an adjunct to psychotherapy”
Roberta Diddel, presented at Conference on Occupational Health, Univ. of Texas School of Public Health (1992)
“Pain and stress management in temporomandibular joint dysfunction”
Roberta Diddel, Chapter 9 Stress Management for Chronic Disease by M. Russell (1988)
“Uses of the MMPI in dentistry”
Roberta Diddel, presented at the 20th Annual Symposium on Recent Developments in the Uses of the MMPI in Honolulu (1985)
“Physical & Sexual abuse in chronic pain populations”
Roberta Diddel and E. Francisco, presented at the annual meeting of the American Pain Society in New Orleans (1991)
“A Hundred Years of Solitude”