If you’ve suffered a serious injury, you may be experiencing challenges to your mental and emotional health. It’s important to know that this is normal and can be managed with the right help and support.
Here, we explore how physical injuries can impact mental health, what the common symptoms are, and how to seek support.
How do physical injuries affect mental health?
Physical injuries can have a huge impact on your daily life and stop you from doing things you normally enjoy – whether that’s running, taking part in sports, or meeting friends and family. The lack of mobility can leave you isolated and lonely, which can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety.
If you suffered a traumatic incident that caused the injury, such as a car crash or physical abuse, this can also lead to mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In addition to this, serious physical injuries can leave people unable to work – which can have serious impacts on their finances. Lack of income and struggling to pay bills can cause high levels of stress and anxiety.
What are the symptoms of mental health issues following physical injuries?
There are many different signs and symptoms of mental health issues – and everyone is different.
However, charity Mind explains some common signs of depression include feeling “down, upset or tearful, restless, agitated or irritable, empty and numb, isolated and unable to relate to other people, and finding no pleasure in life or things you usually enjoy”.
They also say that you may avoid social events, have difficulty sleeping, and have difficulty remembering things.
If you’re struggling with anxiety, you may experience symptoms such as butterflies in your stomach, feeling light-headed, a sense of fear, difficulty concentrating, sweating, and trembling.
When it comes to PTSD, this can often cause scary nightmares or flashbacks, feelings of isolation and guilt, as well as insomnia and difficulty concentrating, according to the NHS.
How can you get support for mental health during physical injuries?
If you’re struggling with your mental health due to a physical injury, it’s important to seek the help you need – never suffer in silence. You should reach out to friends or family that you trust and feel comfortable talking to, explaining how you’re feeling.
They may be able to help with day-to-day activities you’re struggling with, such as laundry, cooking, or cleaning. They may also pop round to sit with you and have a natter, which can ease feelings of isolation.
You could also seek professional help for mental health issues. The NHS offers urgent mental health helplines, as well as therapy and counselling services.
If you’re suffering due to an incident that wasn’t your fault, you may be able to get compensation for the pain and suffering you’re going through. For instance, if you experienced a head injury at work, you may be able to make a brain injury claim and receive financial compensation as well as access to treatment and rehab services for your injury.
Physical injuries can have a huge impact on your mental health, so if you’re suffering – know that you’re not alone. Reach out for the help and support you need, and remember that feelings aren’t permanent and can get better with time!