Would you think of a mental or emotional issue as being relevant to a workplace injury? Research shows that many Tennessee victims of workplace injury may actually be at risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder in connection with their on-the-job ailments. This psychological condition can lead to longer-term occupational illness, which is why physicians urge early intervention to protect workplace injury victims.
Post-traumatic stress disorder sufferers experience a diverse array of unpleasant symptoms, from nightmares to insomnia, emotional detachment and social distancing. Additional symptoms include irritability, difficulty concentrating and amnesia. Many of these issues are even more pronounced if the victim suffered a head injury on the job. If these symptoms are not addressed in the immediate aftermath of the workplace injury, they may persist and cause the employee to remain out of work longer than necessary.
We may not consider the memories of trauma to be a valid form of occupational illness, but a growing body of evidence suggests that workers who suffer a workplace injury should be eligible for psychological services under workers’ compensation laws. You may assume that an employee is ready to return to work once the physical wounds have healed, but that may not always be the case. The psychological ramifications of a workplace injury may entitle a worker to permanent partial disability and other types of benefits.
Victims who have suffered workplace injury deserve a holistic, complete approach to treatment. This can be achieved with a treatment plan that considers mental and emotional needs, as well. If you have been injured at work and believe that you are suffering from PTSD, you may benefit from consulting an attorney about additional workers’ compensation benefits.
Source: Psychiatry Advisor, “PTSD Research Highlights Early Intervention Strategies,” Tara Haelle, Dec. 21, 2016