A serious spinal cord injury can impact every aspect of your life. Along with physical effects that may inhibit movement and mobility, spinal damage also causes emotional effects, which are equally challenging to deal with.
In order for patients to meet these challenges head-on, they must have the right information to navigate complex issues. Here are a few possible effects of major spinal injuries and what you can do about them.
Substance use and abuse
Some people turn to alcohol and other substances to cope with the effects of their injuries. Intoxicating substances can exacerbate ill feelings and mental health issues, but they can also negatively affect a person’s health and wellness. If you must take medication after your injury, alcohol and other substances may also cause harmful interactions. If you feel as though you cannot control your substance intake, consider reaching out to a counselor for support.
Depression and anxiety
The physical effects of spinal cord injuries can take a toll on your mental health when they cause profound changes to your life. Many people experience symptoms of depression and anxiety, which can make it difficult to partake in the necessary therapy and treatments needed to restore function. Keep in mind that these mental health issues are quite common after an injury, and getting the right assistance can help you remain on an even keel.
Cultural and social issues
Disabilities can also affect people on a cultural and social level. For instance, reactions from friends and loved ones may cause distress if they focus on your disability and not you as a person. You may also struggle with your own identity if you are not able to do the same things you did before or require assistance with daily tasks and chores.
Healing after a spinal cord injury entails lots of challenges. With support from your loved ones and proper medical treatment, you can overcome them to lead a full and happy life.