Dr. David B. Adams – Psychological Blog

Psychology of Illness, Pain, Anxiety and Depression


In my experience, children are an appreciable, and unfortunately, often negative factor in the recovery of injured workers.

If there are young children in the household, it appears to add to the despair of the injured worker. His/her role as a parent is compromised; the inability to be active with the children (or in the case of infants to even lift or care for them) leads to appreciable guilt and frustration.

Often, the injured worker misperceives his own disappointments with those of the children. He looks for verbal and behavioral signs that the children are disappointed and grown impatient with their parent_s recovery.

This, in turn, leads to morbid fantasies of abandonment. It much like the fear of being abandoned by a spouse because intimacies are not currently possible. In both case, there is the almost paranoid perception that the spouse will find another partner, and the children will find another parent to replace the person who is injured.

As you can imagine, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: If you repeatedly tell someone that you expect them to abandon you, you increase the probability that this will eventually occur. If nothing else, they do get quite tired of listening to it.

The response of the spouse and children, and the patient_s perceptions of those responses can be critical areas in facilitating recovery.

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