A spinal cord injury can have a lot of impacts on your life. Most people focus on the physical effects, but they overlook the emotional and mental ways that an injury of this magnitude can affect them. It is imperative that anyone who has this type of injury, as well as their loved ones, understand a few points about depression that might come with the life changes.
Around 1 out of every 20 Americans suffers from depression. If you look at only the individuals who have a spinal cord injury, the number is closer to 1 out of every 5. Unfortunately, there is no easy solution to help address this problem. People who have this type of injury should be aware of some of the symptoms of depression so they can seek help as soon as they creep up.
What should you watch for?
It is normal to go through a period of sadness after your injury. However, it shouldn’t last for more than a week or two. If these symptoms go on longer, you should visit a mental health professional. Some of the symptoms you have to think about include:
- Blaming yourself for your injury
- Experiencing changes in your sleep habits
- Lacking interest in activities that you once enjoyed
- Changing appetite patterns
- Feeling hopeless or down
- Decreasing energy
Some people have thoughts of suicide or feel an overwhelming focus on death. If you feel this, you need to ensure that you get help right away. These feelings are dangerous and should be handled promptly.
Why is depression prevalent in spinal cord injuries?
Spinal cord injuries have such a big impact on your life that you might not feel like you will ever find a new sense of normalcy. As you adjust to the new way of life, you will start to see the possibilities that you have now. This might help you to overcome the down feelings that you are experiencing. Some people just have trouble adapting to the changes they are going through.
What are some possible treatments?
You can work with a mental health professional to find suitable ways to treat your depression. This can include counseling, but some individuals might also need antidepressants. Being able to find the plan that works for you can help you to feel a lot better.
Your mental health is only one component of life after a spinal cord injury that you need to deal with. You also have to handle the traditional medical care, and you might need self-care assistance. If the injury was the result of another party’s negligence, you might choose to seek compensation to help you cover the expenses related to this.