Dr. David B. Adams – Psychological Blog

Psychology of Illness, Pain, Anxiety and Depression

Modified Duty Work

There is the positive future expectancy (PFE) group of claimants who anticipate that a forthcoming surgery (postponed for the holidays) will restore them to pre-injury functioning. This positive expectancy will contribute to good compliance and favorable response to surgery.

However, this PFE will also be associated with crushing disappointment if pain and other limitations persist. The optimism, while to be encouraged, must be tempered with a caution that _recovery takes time,_ and _with that degree of damage, there may well be some remaining problems/discomfort._ Hope is a highly researched aspect of healing, and it has been documented to have a positive impact. When hope is unrealistically high, it sets the stage for disappointment, anger and depression.

For far too many, the end of the holiday is associated with negative future expectancies (NFE) in which the individual is thrust back into days of pain, loneliness, guilt, and helplessness. If this converts into hopelessness, then there may be the risk of more severe depression, including suicidal ideation.

Additionally, as we have previously discussed, the NFE group may feel that the holidays were an oppressive contrast between their empty lives and those of others whom they see in stores and on television. They dreaded the holidays, are glad they have passed, but there is nothing for which to look forward.

Post holiday periods are difficult for healthy individuals; this period is unquestionable complex for those with significant physical problems.

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