Your physical and mental health are closely related. If your physical health is affected by illness or injury, it may adversely impact your mental health. For a spinal cord injury that results in paraplegia or quadriplegia, the injury and side effects from treatment can affect how you think and feel.
After a severe spinal cord injury, you might experience changes in your functionality, mobility, employment, level of independence and financial situation, among other aspects of life. Your day-to-day routines may never be the same again, and you might feel hopeless about your situation. These are common responses, but getting the necessary support, information and effective treatment can help.
Mental health problems spinal cord injury patients face
Spinal cord patients will often develop anxiety and depression. In some cases, the feelings of anxiety can be so overwhelming to the extent of interfering with your ability to function normally. Symptoms may include:
- Panic attacks
- Intense or irrational fear of everyday situations and objects
- Difficulty breathing
Depression often accompanies severe anxiety as you may persistently feel extremely sad about the current situation. You may develop a loss of interest and motivation and may no longer enjoy some activities you used to. Your appetite may decline, and experience problems with thinking or concentrating. Drug and alcohol abuse may creep in as you try to numb the feelings you are experiencing, which is usually counterproductive.
Dealing with a severe spinal cord injury
There is no single way to deal with spinal injuries. Instead, there are ways to manage the condition that depends on individual cases. Treatment may involve rehabilitation and counseling to help you overcome the mental effects. In addition, depending on the cause of your spinal injuries, it is necessary to protect your rights regarding compensation for your injuries.
While no amount of money will reverse the situation, it is in the best interests of justice that the responsible party adequately compensates you. In addition, it may alleviate some of the issues spinal injury victims undergo, like the high cost of medical care and financial insecurity.