Dr. David B. Adams – Psychological Blog

Psychology of Illness, Pain, Anxiety and Depression

Injury & Holidays

The vast majority of the psychological aspects of a personal injury claim most often involve pain depression and/or chronic pain. They are driven by annoyance and frustration, fear and dread, anger and resentment associated with the aftermath of the injury and the course of care. At the point of settlement, most often all of those issues are set aside.

However, a complicating factor occurs when the injured worker has been placed in frequent, open-ended, ongoing psychological care without a treatment plan or anticipated end point. In the latter case, they languish in care for months or years, and by the time their claim settles, they have acclimated to these weekly visits and see them as their primary social outlet. They have grown dependent upon these office visits and misperceive their dependency as a need for care.

Being seen weekly in such appointments is unquestionably too often in almost all cases of personal injury. With such frequent contact, the individual can easily become unhealthily dependent, begin to work on problems and conflicts unrelated to injury, and begin a self-investigation that does not end merely because a _case_ is “settled.”

In such cases, the treating psychologist has often created a larger problem than first existed.

In summary, injured workers rarely seek psychological care after their case has settled even if offer that option under _open medical benefits._ However, if they were seen then too often, for too long and for problems unrelated to injury, separation from the treating doctor after case settlement becomes very difficult.

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