Dr. David B. Adams – Psychological Blog

Psychology of Illness, Pain, Anxiety and Depression

Psychopathy Burdens Other Patients

Men worry almost exclusively about finances. Their concerns focus upon how they are going to keep the household going and pay against their (often considerable) debt.

Like most Americans, injured workers have financially precarious lives, but unlike most Americans, those who are injured often work high risk jobs. Therefore, the construction worker may live on the ragged edge of financial peril, yet he also works a job in which he is likely to sustain at least some minor injury during the course of performing his job.

When he sustains a significant injury, he has no job to which to return. The construction industry does not often have modified duty positions, and they do not hold open jobs for those unable to perform them.

Injured female workers may also worry about finances, but they also worry about their husbands. Will he tolerate her inability to perform all of the duties which the family has assigned to her. This includes not only domestic (and childrearing in many cases) chores, but it also includes issues of intimacy.

The injured wife, often accurately, perceives that the husband will not tolerate her being physically unavailable to (and certainly uninterested in) him. She becomes concerned for his impatience, irritability, expressed disappointment, criticism and, ultimately, infidelity.

Here is the greatest problem: The injured woman will suffer these concerns in silence. Most importantly, rather than tell her primary treating physician that this is occurring (sensing correctly that the physician may not care), she will, instead, focus upon her pain.

She will seek _pain killers_ to alter her mood. Her pain symptoms will migrate, and while her physician searches for the cause, her domestic situation worsens_as do her physical symptoms.

Thus, for any injured female, make certain that you consider the probability that unresolved physical complaints are associated with increasing marital tension.

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