Dr. David B. Adams – Psychological Blog

Psychology of Injury, Pain, Anxiety and Depression


motivatorsMotivators & Occupation

Are there some occupations that encourage recovery? For example, if you are an electrician, are you more likely to recover quickly?”

I can provide clinical observation only

  1. Among the professions, first responders (police and fire) and teachers have a complex road and motivators to psychological recovery.  When a teacher is assaulted, he/she often feels that the incident was preventible and that insufficient safety precautions could insure a recurrence should s/he retrn to work.   In the case of first responders, especially when this was a first bruch with horrific trauma, there is a re-questioning as to whtehr the career choice was a good one.
  1. Among the trades, due to probable nature of injury, electricians can have, for example, a more difficult return to work process than does a plumber.
  1. By far the most problematic situation exists in which the nature of the injury imposes limitations for which the patient does not have alternate skills, and/or the employer does not offer other work options.

There are several additional and critical motivators that are not sufficiently addressed after injury:

Is the patient at an age where return to the job is less desirable than the concept of “retirement.”

Has the patient burned out on the job, and the injury offers a reward in removing him/her from such work.

Has the patient reasonable suspicion that the employer wants him/her back at work with a plan that involves firing or laying off the employee

Has the injury become a point of contention with the employer to the extent that the patient believes that the employer is punished by his/her drawing benefits?

Who are those likely to fight against pain and limitations to return to work?

  1. Professionals who derive their identity and worth from their job title and performance
  1. Those who find it anguishing to be isolated from the workforce.
  1. Those who wish to maintain themselves in role of head-of-household.

In toto, look at the patient’s life including, age, education, financial situation and family:  Then ask “does the injury provide this patient with a solution to life problems; a solution that would not be found without a compensible injury?”

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