The Psychological Effects of SCI
The risk of getting a spinal cord injury lurks in every crevice of the road the minute we get behind the wheel. Which is why we need to be careful when we are driving.
All too often, people neglect to take care of their mental wellbeing when they’re affected by a spinal cord injury, but doing so is completely necessary. According to the research done by experts in University of Michigan, adults with spinal injury are 80% more at risk with developing mental health problems compared to their non-injured peers.
There are a number of reasons for this. For one, the physical limitations that a spinal injury imposes on those directly affected could halt them from doing certain things. Depending on where the injury site is located, simple things like walking, lifting one’s hand or finger may end up being difficult tasks to do.
People who regularly do strenuous activities may be affected the most from getting a spinal cord injury. For some of them, a lot of their self-worth is tied to their athletic abilities. The stark differences between their quality of life pre- and post-injury may be too much to handle mentally.
It’s not uncommon for some of them to be wheelchair bound. And having once been more physically capable than the average human, this sudden shift could lead them to be depressed, have increased anxiety, as well as experience a depletion in their self-esteem and personal fulfillment.
The physical and mental repercussions of spinal cord injury should push people to be a bit more attentive of their surroundings. Anyone could get injured in the spine, especially if they’re not careful enough. Unfortunately, accidents still happen regardless of how careful one can be.
Taking Care of Your Mental Health With SCI
The spine is the bridge between your mind and body. Should anything happen to it, it will affect one’s brain and how they interact with the rest of the world.
There is a lot of emphasis placed on improving physical wellness when discussions surrounding SCI recovery are taking place. But taking actionable steps on improving one’s mental health is just as important.
In order to improve mental wellness amid SCI recovery, those affected will need:
- to seek expert intervention from a mental health professional
- to find a community that can help you through these tough times
- to seek physical therapy
Seeing A Mental Health Professional As Someone With SCI
As they try to adjust into a new way of living, people affected by SCI often feel hopeless about the world. They may struggle to find a sense of purpose in life now that their mobility and access to certain things are cut off. For this reason, expert intervention needs to take place to promote mental wellness.
The body and mind have a symbiotic relationship, and it is important for the recovery of the body to take care of the brain and vice versa. With the help of a psychiatrist and/or therapist, a person living with a spinal transection could regain their zest in life in spite of their injury.
Finding Community Support With SCI
The love and support of a community improves overall mental wellness. Adjusting to life with a spinal injury is an entirely different beast to tackle, and going through it alone may feel isolating. Being in community with people who are going through a similar situation may alleviate such feelings.
Hearing about their experiences may provide an SCI survivor a new perspective on life and therefore help them wade through the hardships that come with this injury a bit more easily.
SCI survivors may also find themselves in community with their family and friends as well. Ultimately, being in community with people serves as a constant reminder for those afflicted with this injury that they’re not alone.
Seeking Physical Therapy With SCI
As mentioned before, the mind and body are connected — when there is something wrong with one, it will also affect the other. So just as it is important to take care of the mind to improve physical recovery, physical recovery is also important in taking care of the mind.
The breakthroughs SCI survivors experience are rewarding, and the confidence that physical therapy instills on people may also improve their mental health.
Common causes of SCI
Spinal Cord Injuries are often caused by vehicle collisions and slip-and-falls, per the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. With that being said, we cannot overstate the importance of practicing defensive driving techniques enough! To recap, here are some of them:
- Avoiding distractions
- Checking blind spots
- Yielding for people’s right of way
- Maintaining your vehicle
- Scanning the road
- Being mindful of pedestrians
- Following traffic signs and signals
- Not speeding
- Managing negative emotions while driving
- Using turn signals
Supplementary SCI Resources
SCI survivors can take advantage of many resources to help with their condition. The internet offers a vast array of them. Reddit sub threads on SCI (r/spinalcordinjuries) and other catastrophic injuries may provide some sense of comfort for those who are currently grieving their restricted or total loss of mobility.
As it is community-ran, any questions SCI survivors may have can be answered by someone who went through the same thing.
The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development also outlined a bunch of Spinal Cord Injury Resources that SCI survivors and their caretakers (if any) can use.
Call Omega Law Group
Another supplementary SCI resource those affected by a spinal transection should use is the services of an elite personal injury law firm. And there are no other law firms better equipped to handle SCI cases than Omega Law Group.
The attorneys of Omega have garnered numerous accolades for the work that they’ve done in the field, even getting sought-after features from Los Angeles Business Journal and the Los Angeles Times. Their high intellect and client-first approach to negotiation and litigation have locked in over millions of dollars in compensation.
Their combined decades of experience in the legal industry have allowed them to accrue a lot of knowledge necessary to fight for those who have been wrongfully injured in an accident.
A lot of people get the impression that they won’t be able to avail the firm’s legal services due to the qualifications of Omega attorneys. But they are adamant to help those in need regardless of their financial circumstances. To help bridge the financial gap, the firm operates on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that clients do not have to pay for legal fees upfront.
To learn more, schedule a free consultation with our elite legal team as soon as possible!