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Adapting To Life After Spinal Cord Injury

old woman coping with spinal cord injury
old woman coping with spinal cord injury

Coping With Spinal Cord Injury: The Grieving Process

In adapting to life after Spinal Cord Injury, it is okay to grieve life as you once knew it. You will go through the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. With that being said, it’s important to keep in mind that the grieving process is not linear — you may feel as though you’ve “accepted” your predicament one day and still feel depressed the next. This is completely normal. Don’t be so hard on yourself in your healing journey. Rather, give yourself some grace as you wade through the complexity of grief. 


As you deal with the physical and mental repercussions of SCI, it may be hard for you to accept that you have to make significant alterations in your life to account for all the newly imposed limitations on your mobility. This would lead you to feel in denial of your current situation. 


Bogged down with a myriad of physical changes and limitations, it’s normal for people dealing with SCI to feel angry. It’s extremely rare for people suffering from SCI to voluntarily inflict this injury on themselves. It’s mostly acquired accidentally, and there’s also that added layer of whether or not it was caused by someone’s recklessness. Ultimately, the anger that SCI survivors may feel could stem from the unfairness of it all which is why it’s extremely important for them to see a mental health expert to help them work through these feelings.


For people suffering from a severed spine, bargaining could look different from person to person. For those who are religious, they may bargain with a higher power in order to be miraculously healed. It’s not uncommon for them to promise some huge sacrifice in exchange for a reversal of their injury. People who don’t subscribe to a religious institution may turn to a deity as well in an effort to get some healing, leveraging their devotion in exchange for physical wellness.


Spinal transection is irreversible, so reconciling with the reality that people will have to adjust their lives around their injury may result in major depressive disorders. Here are some symptoms people need to watch out for:

  1. Sleeping problems (insomnia or oversleeping)
  2. Emotional volatility
  3. Lack of energy
  4. Deep feelings of sadness
  5. Brain fog
  6. Suicidal ideation

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms as someone with SCI, you will need to consult a mental health professional as soon as you can. 


Acceptance is the final stage of the grieving process for SCI. This is a place where those affected will have to be in order to move forward with their lives. Accepting the new reality that comes with their spinal transection is necessary in their healing and recovery. And though the road towards acceptance is windy and treacherous, it’s possible. Use the tools at your disposal to help you in your healing. Find community, seek expert help from physical therapists as well as mental health professionals. 

Rebuilding Your Life With SCI

Having a spinal cord injury does not mean your life is over. It just means that adjustments need to be made to accommodate for the new reality that comes with SCI. The process towards recovery in itself is grueling, but they are also extremely rewarding. In rebuilding your life, you will need to have a support system, to find your passion and purpose, and to pursue them.  

Having A Support System As Someone With Spine Injury

SCI survivors are vulnerable to developing mental health issues, and so it is imperative that you have people you can confide in and help you in dire times of need. Being an SCI survivor could feel isolating, but it doesn’t have to be. A support system may ease some feelings of loneliness. Join a support group of SCI survivors who will be there for you when you’re having an “off day.” Other people who love you unconditionally (i.e., your family and friends) should be a part of this support system as well. 

Finding And Pursuing Your Purpose As Someone With Spine Injury

As aforementioned, having SCI does not mean your life is over. Certain adjustments just need to be made, including your goals and aspirations. Feelings of hopelessness among people affected by SCI can lead to a depletion in their mental health. So while it is difficult, reorienting one’s goals and vision of the future could reinvigorate their zest for life. Pursuing one’s passion and purpose may lead those with SCI to feel fulfilled in their lives. 

Several celebrities actually suffer from a spine injury. Here are some of them per ProMed Spine:

  1. Usain Bolt
  2. George W. Bush
  3. George Clooney
  4. Mick Mars
  5. Dwight Howard
  6.  Harrison Ford
  7. Jackie Chan
  8. Charlize Theron

SCI Difficulties

Depending on how severe the injury is, people living with SCI may be limited in their mobility. The spinal cord acts as the connection between the brain and the body, and if severed, neurotransmitters from the brain will have a hard time sending messages to the body. It’s not uncommon for people to have no access to certain parts of their body for this reason, binding them to assistive devices to help them to do daily tasks. Spinal Cord Injuries are life-altering. Therefore, they demand those who are affected to make some drastic and difficult lifestyle adjustments. 

Physical Therapy

For one, they may have to go through extensive physical therapy to harness some of the bodily control they may have lost as a result of this injury. This is an extremely physically taxing endeavor, but necessary especially if those affected want to regain some mobility back. 

Mental Health Interventions

Going through the difficulties of navigating life with SCI can also be emotionally draining. Life, as those affected have once known it to be, will never be the same. And having to reconcile with this fact is extremely hard. Mental health experts will be better equipped to give the tools people affected by spine transection will need to better cope with their injury.

Call Omega Law Group

Seeking legal reparations for your accidental spinal cord injury may give you the closure that you need to help you move on. You need the best spinal cord injury lawyer to not only give you quality legal service, but to also help you with your medical treatments. Look no further than Omega Law Group.

The award-winning attorneys of Omega Law Group have been featured in the Los Angeles Business Journal and the Los Angeles Times for their excellent work in the field of personal injury. With more than millions of dollars won in compensation, their empathetic and personalized approach to client service has garnered much praise from their peers in the industry and clients alike. Omega attorneys are highly-skilled and competent, and with decades of combined legal experience, they are the perfect lawyers to help represent you in your Spinal Cord Injury case.

Omega Law Group understands that not everyone can afford quality legal representation. But passionate to bring justice and reparations to everyone, not just the rich, they operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that you don’t have to pay for legal fees upfront. Schedule a free consultation now to learn more.