Dr. David B. Adams – Psychological Blog

Psychology of Injury, Pain, Anxiety and Depression

Out of Focus

The majority of injured workers are confused about their condition, what to do, what to tell the family, how to handle matters before them. Some are depressed, but many are simply bewildered. Many patients I see are depressed. All the patients I see are in pain. Many chronic pain patients are depressed. Some are not. Some are simply concerned about that which they are to do next.

They do not understand their condition. They misinterpret what the are told. They seek the _magic bullet_, some surgery, procedure, or medication that will resolve all of their complaints.

They permit way too much time to pass during which they are increasingly inactive, increasingly bored, and increasingly destitute. They then believe that their only viable option is _settlement_ and that some amount of money will restore quality of their life and function to the family. In reality, the money goes quickly, and there are then no future options.

They get caught up in appeals for their Social Security benefits as though that small amount of money can not only support their families but can compensate their endless days at home and bored.

These individuals need psychological care not because they are depressed but because they have not fully committed themselves to responsibility for their own future, created their own options and opportunities, and have not yet been confronted with the permanence of their own complaints. They are still running from the reality of their situation, angry and resentful, but have not as yet focused. In that case, the purpose of psychological care is to permit that focus to occur.

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