Dr. David B. Adams – Psychological Blog

Psychology of Illness, Pain, Anxiety and Depression

Injury and Needed Career Change

A year ago, I discussed how difficult it was for injured workers as Christmas approaches: They have no funds, and often they are encumbered by pain and other limitations that erode their capacity to enjoy the holidays.

Some feel a great deal of relief when this period ends since they are no longer under the pressure to perform for others. They no longer need to create funds to buy gifts. They no longer have to feign joy when they feel misery.

Just prior to Christmas is the time when many seek advances on their _settlements._ These advances are often not forthcoming, and they mark the days by waiting for work that they will receive sufficient funds to enjoy Christmas.

Once the holidays pass, some of the urgency for financial support lessens.

During the holidays, those with young children must mobilize and tolerate the festivities which they often find in contrast to their emotions. They feel empty and pessimistic, and their children are joyous and excited. This most often results in increased irritability and increased focus upon their symptoms. Also, the agitation increases the subjective interpretation of pain.

The passing of Christmas may not be the letdown for the injured worker that it is for you and me.

However, as you note, it is also a period of being more confined to the home due to the weather, and the anticipation of several months trapped within small surroundings creates its own set of demands upon the patient.

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