Those who become disabled due to an injury not only have to overcome the physical challenges of their new disability, but they may also have to cope with difficult and destructive emotions. Sadly, emotional impairments are often the result of physical disabilities.
Someone who suffers a disabling injury will typically go through stages of denial and mourning before learning to cope with their new reality. During this time, many people experience the following difficult emotions:
- Anger. One of the first emotions someone with a new disability often experiences is anger. This is a normal reaction to have when finding oneself suddenly disabled and needing to rely on others for help. The victim may be reacting to losing his freedom and independence and realizing life has changed due to his disabilities. Another cause of anger is the realization that he will not be able to participate in the sports or hobbies he once loved. Even doing certain things in his daily routine, such as getting dressed and brushing his teeth, may not be possible anymore.
- Depression. Often, after coming to terms with anger, an accident victim may begin to suffer from depression. This can occur because of the many changes the victim must face. He may be unable to drive, may have to rely on others for help with daily living, and he may have even lost his job. The loss of these freedoms coupled with the isolation that can come from no longer being in control of one’s own life can easily lead to sadness and depression.
- Anxiety. Unfortunately, those who have to live with a disabling injury may feel anxious about being in public. They may feel as though they are being stared at or judged for their disability. They may also feel unsure about how they will be able to handle certain situations, such as getting around or communicating their needs. These uncertainties can lead to debilitating anxiety.
While it is not easy to come to terms with the losses a disabled accident victim suffers, it is important that he copes with these strong and difficult emotions in order to move on with his life. But he shouldn’t try to do it alone.
What to Do Next
Although it is perfectly normal to experience anger and depression following a disabling injury, it is important to stay emotionally healthy. Here are some ways a person with a physical disability can start the road to emotional healing:
- Talk with someone. One of the best ways to heal and stay emotionally healthy is to talk about your feelings. You can talk with a relative or friend, but he or she may not know how to help you. This is why it is often best to seek professional counseling. Counselors and therapists will have tools and techniques to help you cope.
- Join a support group. There are many different support groups for all types of medical issues, and there are also more general emotional support groups. Sometimes you might have to try out a few groups to find the best fit for you, as success depends on the people in the group. A good group can help you get through this tough time.
- Get physical activity. Depending on your disability and your doctor’s orders, physical exercise may be an option. Even participating in physical therapy sessions and doing the exercises at home will not only help you physically feel better but may also help you heal emotionally as well.
Dealing with a disabling injury can be physically and emotionally challenging, and you will want someone in your corner who knows how to fight for you so that you can get the best compensation possible. Contact us today for a free consultation. We would be honored to answer your questions.