Spinal cord injuries are traumatic for the victims and their family members. There are a lot of changes that come with one of these injuries. It is imperative that anyone who has one understands what they are likely going to experience so they can address these issues as they come up.
One area that’s often difficult to handle is the emotional rollercoaster. The emotions can often come up without notice, and they can be very intense. Many individuals who suffer from limitations due to a spinal cord injury may experience sadness. This can manifest into depression. Even caregivers of people with this type of injury might suffer negative mental health impacts.
Is depression more common for those with disabilities?
Living with a disability does make a person more likely to suffer from depression. While around 10% of people who are not disabled suffer from moderate to severe depression, that figure increases to 20% to 30% for those who have a disability. The rate for caregivers is conservatively noted to be around 20%. Women are more likely to become depressed than men when they’re doing caregiver duties.
Why are spinal cord injuries associated with depression?
Spinal cord injuries mean a dramatic change in the person’s life. The things that they once did without thinking might be impossible or require considerable planning and assistance. The loss of independence is another primary trigger for people who have always been able to handle things on their own.
Other factors that might lead to depression include the constant pain and fatigue they feel. This might be more pronounced in the earlier days, which is especially troubling since they’re still trying to adjust to the specific impacts of the injury. They may feel shame and have a change in their body image.
When is medical help needed?
It isn’t uncommon for a person who has a catastrophic injury to feel down and sad for a bit after the accident. These feelings should abate. This might happen slowly, but it should happen. If the sadness gets worse, the feelings get more intense or they just don’t go away, seeking mental health help might be beneficial to learn coping techniques.
Another cause of depression might be the stress of trying to make ends meet financially. One option that might help with this is seeking compensation, which can help you to recover money from the party liable for the accident that caused the injury.