If you’ve suffered a serious injury as a result of an accident, you know how emotionally taxing recovery can be. You have to deal with physical limitations you didn’t have to worry about before, relying on a caregiver, and of course the strain of the injury itself. You may experience symptoms of depression and anxiety or you may develop PTSD as a result of your injury.
These emotional scars can be as debilitating as the physical injury, and it’s important to treat emotional injury with the same care as physical. Let’s look at some ways to cope with a traumatic injury that will have your whole self on the road to recovery.
Grief is a normal part of trauma recovery. You must accept the grieving process and allow yourself to feel however you feel about the injury and your recovery. You may have feelings of sadness, hopelessness, loss, and anger. It’s okay to feel any or all of these things. As time goes on and you’re able to process the event, these feelings will gradually fade. You will find yourself able to accept the circumstances of the injury and adjust to life after the trauma.
Some people want to isolate themselves after a traumatic event like an injury, but isolation can make things worse. Ask for help and company from your friends and family. Even if you don’t talk about the trauma — and you don’t have to — it helps to have another person around to share experience with. Join a support group, find new social activities, or volunteer. You’ll find that exposure to new faces and situations will help pull you away from feelings of depression.
Depending on the severity of your injury, you should be able to do some form of exercise once your doctor approves. You may be required to do some form of physical therapy as part of your recovery, but talk to your doctor about exercises you can do at home. Even mild exercise can help “reset” your nervous system and help balance brain chemicals so that you’re better able to cope with emotional stress.
Meditation, breathing exercises, and repetitive motions like coloring or knitting can all help you relieve stress. Perhaps a certain type of music relaxes you, or you may enjoy playing with a favorite pet. Depression and anxiety can rob you of the joy you once felt in these kinds of activities, so even if you don’t feel like doing them, do them. You’ll notice a change in your mood that will make you want to do these relaxing things more often.
Often, stress after trauma comes from not knowing what to do next. Contacting a Wisconsin personal injury attorney can take a big load off your chest. If you need legal help for your injury, a quick call to Cannon & Dunphy can put you on track toward a strong recovery.