Depression: The Unseen Trauma of Spinal Cord Injuries

Are you currently recovering from a spinal cord injury?

Have you also been feeling unusually worried, sad, tired, or irritable lately?

If you are, you may be experiencing signs of mental trauma and unfortunately, you’re not the only one. Spinal cord injury (SCI) victims are three times more susceptible than any other injury victim to experience severe depression during their recovery.

When you’re injured, it’s normal to feel slightly overwhelmed and uncertain about your future. You need time to cope and process how the injury will affect your life. However, the added pressures of a spinal cord injury can make that process very difficult. Not only do SCI victims have to cope with the physical restraints of the injury, such as immobility, communication problems and incontinence, but they also have to cope with the limitations these restraints have on their lives.

Imagine visiting the International Spy Museum, in D.C. and not being able to pretend you’re James Bond. Or worse still, the inability to fantasize about something you always loved doing, because you may never be able to do it again. What if you had to rearrange all of your life’s plans, because you could longer perform, work, or physically do what you loved?

Obsessing over these things could cause anyone to fall into a deep-seated depression. However, in addition to these restraints, SCI victims must also face:

  • The physical stress of therapy
  • Rehabilitation and medication costs
  • Limitations on future plans
  • Loss of independence
     

Worst is what psychologists call the most defining characteristic for spinal cord injury depression victims: loss of self. People with SCI feel as though the injury completely changed their abilities and self-worth, and they’re no longer the person they once were.

These physical and mental burdens can cause SCI victims to lose hope for recovery, stop rehabilitation and medication, and completely withdraw from the world. This not only causes the depression to worsen, but if rehabilitation for the SCI stops, the physical trauma could potentially worsen.

Even if it doesn’t physically show, depression can be just as traumatic as the spinal cord injury itself. Therefore, although being sad after an injury may seem normal, if you or a loved one shows signs of irritability, sadness, or fatigue after a spinal cord injury, please seek professional help immediately. Don’t let depression compromise your recovery. Seek help.

If you found this article interesting, or need help with your spinal cord injury claim, please visit the Washington D.C. spinal cord injury lawyers at Shevlin Smith or call us for a free consultation. Call us today at 703.591.0067 to get the help you deserve.