The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reports that 20,000 people are hurt at work every year in this state. If you or someone you love is part of this statistic, you could be struggling to overcome myriad issues caused by a work-related accident.
One issue you may not anticipate is emotional damage.
The emotional impact of physical injuries
Treating physical injuries in a work accident is typically the main concern for victims. They may be in pain or have limited mobility, and these conditions certainly require immediate attention. But too often, people overlook the extensive emotional damage that can linger long after physical injuries start to improve.
For instance, a person who suffers an injury like a traumatic brain injury might experience emotional challenges including:
- Changes in their personality
- Overwhelming feelings of anger, sadness or shame
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Further, serious injuries can affect a person’s ability to work and carry out routine tasks, which can have a tremendous impact on their self-esteem and relationships, exacerbating their overall well-being.
Getting the help you need
Even though it is normal to experience emotional distress after a work accident, that fact does not make it easier for people to cope with these conditions. As such, it is crucial to seek help for both the physical and emotional ramifications of a severe accident.
It can help to connect with:
- Family members
- Support groups (in person or through online communities)
- Counselors and therapists
- Rehabilitative professionals
These people can help a person understand, treat and cope with the emotional aspect of recovery.
Unfortunately, too many people do not seek these resources out. They might downplay their symptoms or be too embarrassed to ask for help. This can be especially true for people working in physically demanding occupations where the focus is on recovering physically rather than emotionally.
However, recognizing that emotional challenges exist and can compromise a person’s overall health can help people appreciate the extent to which a work accident affects victims. It can also make it easier to get the comprehensive and long-term care they may need.