What if you encountered an unfortunate event and it affected your physical health? How would you feel? How would you continue with life? Is coping after an injury something you grapple with? Maybe you’re asking these questions right now having sustained a serious injury.
Well, recovering from a traumatic physical injury can be emotionally challenging and life-altering. Traumatic physical injuries accompany different disability-related stressors such as added demands in daily living, employment inaccessibility, or financial strain. It also creates emotional responses such as continuing feelings of sadness, hopelessness, loss, and helplessness. It can also lead to loss of confidence, and disinterest in general areas of life, leading to mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The presence of mental health concerns after an injury was associated with poorer coping mechanisms, extended recovery, and disruptions in relationships.
Dealing with a traumatic physical injury can be challenging, but some ways can buffer its effects. Here are some examples:
Seek social support
Support from family, friends, or neighbors can aid in the recovery of the survivors. Assistance during the recovery period is crucial since they may feel incapacitated and frustrated in doing simple tasks. The presence of loved ones can assure them that they are not alone.
Develop stress management skills
Stress management can lessen the impact of stress on the survivors’ health. Techniques include learning about the nature of stress and identifying stressors, goal setting, enhancing self-efficacy, increasing social connectedness, and engaging in health-promoting behaviors such as eating healthy foods, exercising, and building a sleep routine.
Early intervention such as learning the symptoms, effects, consequences, risk and protective factors, or identifying the extent of recovery can help prevent any physical and psychological effects of the injury. Uncertainty about recovery can be stressful. It hampers a sense of recovery, reduces the quality of life, and affects interpersonal relationships. Thus, it is important to intervene early to identify ways on how to deal with its effects.
Focus on the present or here-and-now
Healing is a process, and it may take time. It can be frustrating and stressful when survivors focus on the future, leading to anxiety or depression. It helps to set goals, but it is beneficial to focus on the process of recovery.
For help or support, reach out to someone who cares for you and start the conversation. You can also get in touch with us if you’d like specific support and we’ll put you in touch with someone who can give you the help you desire.