When you’re forced to lose a limb —either from a personal accident or from a health-related issue such as diabetes—it doesn’t just affect your physical body, it affects your mentality. If you are struggling with anxiety or depression since your amputation, you’re not alone. There are hundreds of victims in Washington D.C. who continue to suffer on a daily basis as a result of amputation-related depression.
Losing a limb is much like losing a loved one. Your brain needs to mourn and cope with the feelings of loss, much as you mourn a deceased friend or relative. This process affects everyone differently and requires several stages of grief processing in order to gradually accept the loss. These steps include the following and may take longer for some individuals than others to fully process:
- Denial that the limb needs or needed to be removed as a result of the injury
- Anger at the person or situation that caused the injury
- Bargaining—with the doctors or with the universe—for a different outcome
- Depression that your life may never be the same or your situation appears to be hopeless
- Acceptance that although you can’t change the outcome, you can still prepare for the future
Reaching the final stage of acceptance is an enormous accomplishment and should be greatly celebrated. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean your depression will end. Amputations are a life-long struggle and require permanent, constant care and emotional upkeep. This prospect can cause recurrent feelings of anxiety, hopelessness, and depression over what the future may hold. These feelings aren’t necessarily abnormal; even people who don’t suffer from a personal injury amputation have anxiety about the future. Nonetheless, if you feel that your depression worsens or that it may result in further mental or physical harm, you should seek psychological guidance for treatment options as soon as possible.
Personal injury amputations require an amazing sense of mental control in order to cope with not only the emotional effects, but also the initial situation itself. Hundreds of questions run through your mind while you’re trying to heal:
- Who is to blame?
- Why is this happening to me?
- How will I provide for myself?
- Who will pay the medical bills?
Some encouraging news, however, is you don’t have to go through this alone. The Washington D.C. personal injury lawyers at Shevlin Smith will be happy to provide advice, information, and a free consultation to help you explore your legal options for care and peace of mind. Please contact us at 703.591.0067 to speak with a lawyer who knows exactly how you feel.