Dr. David B. Adams – Psychological Blog

Psychology of Illness, Pain, Anxiety and Depression

Developmental History & Failure to Recover

The developmental history of an injured or ill patient is critical for many reasons.

1. If the patient comes from a family with disabled parent(s), there has been role modeling early in life for acquiescing to the disability role.
2. If the patient_s marriages were unstable, the patient may have continuing instability and inconsistent support, both emotionally and financially
3. If the patient_s developmental history is characterized by poverty, adaptation to the low benefits inherent in workers_ compensation may too readily occur.
4. If the patient did not have a same sex role model who had a specific career or record of productivity, the patient_s expectations for/from a career may be quite low.
5. If the patient was a victim of trauma, abuse, abandonment or neglect, he/she may carry not only the trauma but the resultant distrust into situations that involve authority (Eg. Employers, doctors, insurers, etc).
6. If there was a family history of addictive and/or mood disorder, the patient_s vulnerability for these disorders is increased

_and there are truly numerous other developmental predictors of recovery. The best prediction of future behavior is past behavior. It is not possible to fully manage a case without knowing what developmental history led the patient into the injury situation.

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