Dr. David B. Adams – Psychological Blog

Psychology of Illness, Pain, Anxiety and Depression

Seasonal Affective Disorder

I find that some injured workers, especially those in middle age, fear going back to work due to feeling incompetent in the job in which they were injured.

Blue Collar Workers: Work at tasks which wear out the body; tasks that are often easier to perform by younger workers who have more stamina, strength, energy and do not fatigue as easily. Also, the younger workers most often have less financial pressure and family demands. Very often the injured middle aged individual was feeling a decreased competitive edge prior to injury. The thought of returning to work with any physical compromise is alarming. They focus upon their physical complaints and limitations as a means of avoiding the competitive market place.

White Collar Workers: Companies are downsizing; people are either replaced by technology and/or must develop technological skills. Younger workers with more recent education come to the job with training in newer technologies and an enthusiasm for these skills. _Old dogs and new tricks_ are intimidating to middle-aged workers who like to begin thinking about less job demands rather than a new host of demands for which they have not been trained_and may have little interest.

When you see an individual who is resistant to return to their job despite capacity to do so, you need to consider and investigate as to whether the injury is being used by them as self-protection against obsolescence.

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