Dr. David B. Adams – Psychological Blog

Psychology of Injury, Pain, Anxiety and Depression

The Non-Psych Claim

As I have often stated, the workers_ comp system is ill-equipped to deal with those of above average intelligence, greater than high school educated, highly motivated, in great physical pain and understandably depressed.

For such people, the workers_ compensation system is a quagmire.

Everyone, to them, seems bent and determined to label them as manipulative, exaggerating and attention seeking.

The very nature of workers_ compensation case management is maladaptive. It is based upon a common bond of distrust. If a patient does not have an attorney, they are fair game for manipulation by the system. If they do have an attorney, they are then seen as unscrupulous and conniving.

However, these white collar workers, who are involved in work-related injuries, are placed in an environment that is not designed for them.

These are individuals who are used to private care, selecting their own physicians, who are considered good patients and most of all are treated with respect.

Now that they are injured, they sit in crowded waiting rooms, ordered to see doctors who, to them, feel largely cold and indifferent, and seldom-if-ever does anyone attempt to explain to them where treatment is going_or why.

Throughout the years, such patients have referred to this process as _I don_t belong in this system_ or _this system was not meant for me_ or _why do I feel like everything thinks I am after something?_

_A few bad apples_ is the best explanation to give them. A few bad apples have made us all suspicious and distrusting. A few bad apples use this system to solve problems that they have been unable to otherwise solve. A few bad apples use this system as a source of income and financial advantage. A few bad apples have created something in which you are now trapped.

My experience has been that the honest and motivated patient is in a disadvantageous position.

I suggest that if the patient is a well-educated one that the unfairness and unsuitability of the workers_ compensation system is most likely to leave them feeling weak, futile, helpless, hopeless_and, ultimately, depressed.

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