A new year with no new prospects for a change in condition is very difficult.
Some injured workers were able to briefly emotionally mobilize for the sake of being together with extended family. Others became depressed in anticipation of having insufficient funds and inability to control pain, neither of which boded well for happy holidays.
This next year can be even more ominous, and available time will again be filled tracking medication, attempting to control weight gain, trying to stay mobile/exercise and conceiving of a meaningful way of participating in their own lives and that of their families.
It is during the period following the new year that we see behaviors that reflect a sense of increased helplessness and decreased hopefulness. This is also the period of the year when cold weather is another reason to be confined indoors with little productive ways of spending time.
With that in mind, you may need to know if your patient is feeling increasingly agitated, irritable, impatient and indecisive, napping more often and staring blankly at the television. Consider that your patients can become markedly more depressed with the start of yet another year that they interpret as empty and without change or direction.