No one asks to be injured.
One of the most difficult psychological factors is adjusting to what an injury means, in terms of limitations caused by the injury and what being injured stops you from doing.
People often describe feeling frustrated and becoming a bit “stir crazy” when they’re unable to do the activities they used to be able to do. Often people describe “pushing through” and doing things in spite of their injury.
This can lead to increased pain and setbacks in recovery. Resulting in an ongoing cycle of pushing and frustration, and further setbacks. Often we show the frustration to the people that we care about the most, which can have detrimental effects on our relationships. More than a third of people with longer term injuries develop depression and anxiety.
Things to think about when you’re injured:
- Consider what adjustments you may need to make in your own mind to allow your injury to exist. How you adjust to what your injury means, in terms of physical limitations. Mindfulness strategies work toward a goal of acceptance of what is there, and working within what is helpful for the body’s healing process. And in some situations what may be permanent changes to the body.
- Consider adaptation. Being injured often stops you from doing tasks and activities the way that you used to do them. Adaptation is the idea of problem solving around around how you could do some of the tasks in a different way. For example, if you wanted to wash the dishes – depending on your injury – you might simply break the task up into short periods of doing. You could change heights, or supply a rubber mat that may cushion some of the hard floor surface. Aids like wheelchairs or voice activated software are more clear examples of adaptation for people with more permanent injuries.
- Coping with chronic pain. Pain can often cause frustration, irritability and emotional distress. This can impact on a persons psychological state in terms of depression, irritability and interrupted sleep. Psychological strategies like mindfulness and hypnosis can provide strategies to help manage the sensations being experienced.
If you would like to see one of our Psychologists at Revive Health and Happiness, please contact us.