Dr. David B. Adams – Psychological Blog

Psychology of Illness, Pain, Anxiety and Depression

Orthopedic Injury and PTSD

Let_s take a brief example. A young adult male strains his back at work. There are no remarkable physical findings. He complains of pain and is irritable. Both of these are depressive symptoms. Is he depressed because of his injury? Is he in pain because of his injury?

The problem actually is relatively simple to solve.

First let_s look at the situation. Dependent upon the study, between one-fifth and (as much as) two-thirds of injured workers_ had one or more diagnosable psychological problems prior to injury.

These include not only mood and anxiety disorders but substance abuse and personality disorders.

That was their _baseline_ when they were injured. This baseline often involves dysfunctional marriages, extreme financial pressures, social inadequacies, conflicts with authority, etc.

The worker is injured and drops below this baseline.

The goal of injury treatment must be to return them as close as possible to their specific baseline which may be far below what we would consider _normal._

We must establish this individual baseline as soon after injury as possible. If we do not, then we assume responsibility for pain and mood complaints that actually arise from problems unrelated (and perhaps not even exacerbated by) injury.

Comments for this post are closed.
Going Both Ways

Going Both Ways

“Going Both Ways” I have often discussed the impact of delayed care and procedure approval on injured workers. …
Read Blog Post

Men

Men vs. Women

In my experience, males respond to many injuries and most assaults differently than do females. Males feel that their masculinity …
Read Blog Post

nervous

Nervous

Nervous:  To determine if a patient has had past psychological problems, there is a simply and inoffensive way of asking …
Read Blog Post