I developed severe depression after my arm was amputated after an injury in Washington, DC. Is this normal? What can I do about it?

Depression among Washington D.C. amputee victims is extraordinarily common.

When you are involved in an accident, are mangled by malfunctioning machinery, or are victimized in a violent attack, you can undergo serious emotional trauma. However, when you lose a limb as a result of one of these experiences, the trauma is amplified significantly. Not only do you require extra time to heal, but the evidence of that experience is always visible. This may be a reason why many amputee victims develop depression within the first year of amputation.

This depression can be a result of several factors associated with the amputation and may require additional assistance to overcome. Typical psychological reactions include:

  • Loss of Functional Ability. Your new challenges in completing routine activities with a missing limb makes you feel as though you won’t be able to fend for yourself.
  • Altered Body Image. You become worried about how you look or how others may treat you.
  • Sensory Loss. You are scared you’ll forget how certain things felt on the lost limb.
  • Loss of Future Goals. You feel you won’t be physically able to reach your goals.

All of these uncertainties weigh you down and constantly prey on your mind. But you must not allow them to do so. Over 1.5 million people have suffered a personal injury amputation in the United States and know how you feel. But every day, they try to break through their disability and grow from it.

In most cases, some psychological counseling is necessary and helpful. You shouldn’t feel embarrassed for getting help if and when you need it.

If your amputation was the result of another person’s malice or negligent behavior, you may deserve compensation for your injuries—including coverage for therapy to combat the emotional reaction to your loss. To further assist you in determining what rights you have and in understanding your disability, please contact the Washington D.C. amputation lawyers at Shevlin Smith for a free consultation at 703.591.0067. We will be happy to discuss legal options for additional care, compensation and your future.

Michael J. Shevlin
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Specializing in medical malpractice and serious personal injury cases since 1994.