There are many facets to post-injury recovery, including not only rest and healing, but also, regaining long-term strength and dealing with oft-ignored mental health concerns. If the potential for anxiety and depression are not tackled early on, these issues could add significant difficulties to the already challenging prospect of physical recovery.
Keep reading to learn more about the prevalence of mental health issues following physical injuries — and to discover how these concerns can be addressed.
How Common Are Mental Health Problems After Injury?
The potential for developing depression or anxiety largely depends on the nature of the injury. These issues are especially common for patients who have endured severe physical suffering. The University of Washington’s Charles Bombardier, PhD explains that one-third of those with major orthopedic injuries also eventually suffer major depressive symptoms.
Mental health concerns are even more common when traumatic brain injuries (TBI) accompany other physical problems. In such cases, as many as half of patients may eventually develop depression.
How Can Post-Injury Depression And Anxiety Be Treated?
Early identification is crucial for limiting mental and emotional suffering in patients with physical injuries. While the symptoms of depression or anxiety are often shrugged off as normal following a major injury, issues such as apathy, trouble focusing, or anger may all be indicative of deeper problems.
Swift diagnosis means access to resources such as therapy, support groups, or meditation classes. These solutions can limit emotional suffering and help patients focus on physical healing.
Additionally, the mental manifestations of recovery can be addressed by developing — and sticking to — a routine that incorporates exercise (when possible), social support, and other forms of self-care. Routines are also important for eating, sleeping, and hygiene.personal injury