A person who’s suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury is likely going to have to deal with life-long impacts. This is a difficult realization for them, and it may impact their mental health.
One thing that you should remember if you’re in this position is that there are still many possibilities for what you can do even though you’re injured. Learning how to focus on your abilities might be challenging but it is beneficial in these cases.
Set your goals
Many people who have a spinal cord injury question whether they’ll ever be able to care for themselves and become independent again. The answer to this depends on the injury and the specific impacts.
Because it can be daunting to try to set the huge goal of being completely independent, you might opt to set smaller goals that can lead up to the greatest level of independence you can achieve.
Your therapists, including physical, occupational and speech, can help you to find ways to work toward those goals. Discuss your options for integrating the techniques you learn from them into your real, everyday life.
Address mental health concerns
Learning that your abilities have changed can be traumatic. Many people who have spinal cord injuries struggle with the mental health challenges that come a life change of this magnitude. Some of the emotional conditions that you might experience include anxiety and depression.
It is common to have these problems, especially in the early days after the accident. The key here is that it should get better as time progresses. If it doesn’t get better or it limits your ability to enjoy your life, you may need to seek mental health treatment.
You also need to get help if you are thinking of self-harm. This is a serious matter that should be addressed immediately. Remember, you are more than just your injury. You still have the ability to enjoy your life.
Money worries can make things seem worse
Another aspect of life with a sudden spinal cord injury is that it is going to impact your finances. You have to cover medical bills and an increase in living expenses, but there’s a chance that your ability to earn a living was cut short because of the injury. This can be challenging but seeking compensation can help. When you seek compensation, you’re trying to hold the person whose negligence caused your injury accountable for the damages.