A catastrophic physical injury can have lasting impacts on your life, leaving you unable to work and relying on the help of other people. Even if you reach a point in your recovery where you regain some mobility, the impact of your injury on your mental health may linger permanently.
Suffering a catastrophic injury by no fault of your own, through medical malpractice, for example, can cause feelings of distrust and anger. Recognizing the way that trauma can disrupt your mental health may enlighten you to identify ways to support your psychological well-being during a difficult time.
Identifying a problem
Coming to terms with the way your physical injury has changed and will continue to change your life can trigger heavy emotions. You may feel guilty, angry, confused and hopeless. According to Web MD, nearly one-third of patients that endure an orthopedic injury experience depression related to their circumstances. For patients coping with a brain injury, this number exceeds more than half.
Following your injury, watch for warning signs that may indicate you need additional support. This may include the following:
- Incessant and invasive thoughts about your injury
- Feelings of depression and hopelessness
- Anxiety and disinterest
- Suicidal thoughts
- Inability to focus on tasks
- Insomnia and gastrointestinal issues
Implementing a solution
From the onset of your injury, it is in your best interest to seek mental health support immediately. Having access to resources designed to help you process and navigate complex situations can give you the tools you need to effectively endure the trauma you have experienced.
During this time, look for individuals who can rally for you and advocate for your health and recovery. A strong legal team can alleviate some of the stress of building a case against the person or entity that caused your injury. Family, friends, your medical team and mental health professionals can all play a critical role in helping you move past your injury and enjoy a promising and successful future.