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How a major injury can impact someone’s mental health

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2023 | Injuries |

Severe injuries can occur in many different ways. Someone might fall down the stairs at a restaurant with balcony seating. They might break bones or suffer a traumatic brain injury. Those involved in car crashes could incur a spinal cord injury or lose a limb because of a crash. People can even end up hurt as a result of negligent medical care.

Those with severe injuries often fixate on the physical consequences of their medical challenges. They often worry about covering treatment expenses or paying their bills while they are unable to work. They may fail to recognize that there is a secondary risk related to their mental health. Those who experience injuries that cause chronic or lasting symptoms may develop mental health consequences caused by their physical condition.

Major injuries can affect self-esteem

One of the most common psychological responses to a severe injury is a drop in self-esteem. People often use their productivity or appearance as a foundation for their sense of self-worth. When their physical abilities or looks change because of an injury, their self-esteem may plummet. Reduced self-esteem can harm someone’s interpersonal relationships and their career.

People may be at risk of depression

Depression affects someone’s mood and ability to function in daily life. Those struggling with functional limitations related to an injury may develop new depression symptoms despite being mentally healthy before. Those with a pre-existing tendency toward depression may find that their condition gets worse.

Injuries can cause anxiety and post-traumatic stress

Someone hurt in a car crash or fall may become very nervous about the possibility of getting hurt again. Some people become incredibly anxious after an injury and have a harder time navigating the world. In fact, some people who suffer significant injuries display concerning symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The nature of the injury and the duration of someone’s symptoms will influence their likelihood of developing PTSD-like symptoms as a byproduct of a major injury. People may have intrusive thoughts of the incident that left them hurt, may feel hopeless or may become numb to daily life.

Someone who is thinking about the future after a major injury may need to account for the possibility of future mental health struggles in addition to physical symptoms that their condition may cause. Having a holistic view of the impact of an injury may help someone more effectively seek fairly-valued compensation after getting hurt.