Around 16 million Americans every year suffer from depression, with 32.5 years old as the median age of onset. Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States.
Everyone feels down once in a while and may even have bouts of depressive moods. However, depression is a more persistent experience of lack of energy, negative thoughts, and a desolate outlook in life. Someone who has felt sad and miserable most of the time for more than two weeks and/or has had some of the following signs and symptoms might be depressed. It is best to consult with a psychologist or a psychiatrist to have an accurate diagnosis.
- Anxiety and restlessness
- Extreme irritability over minor things
- Loss of interest in favorite activities
- Insomnia or sleeping too much
- Unexplained pains
- Incapacitating fatigue
- Fixation on events or things in the past that have gone wrong
- Anger management problems
- Suicidal thoughts
Depression has been attributed to many factors over the years of research on the disorder. Past physical, sexual, or emotional abuse can be a factor. There are also certain medications that can increase the risk of depression. Sadness or grief over the death of a loved one can be a factor, as well as major events such as starting a new job, losing a job, getting divorced, getting married or retiring. Genetics can also play a part; a family history of depression may increase the risk of having depression eventually. Other factors include serious illnesses and substance abuse.
But can physical injuries cause depression, too?
The physical harm and pain associated with a serious physical injury can have an impact on one’s mental health. The emotional trauma from an abrupt and severe injury, resulting from events such as a car accident, assault, or an accidental fall, can increase the risk of a person to develop mental disorders such as anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression.
Most people have sound mental health after recovering from a serious physical injury. However, for some people, a sudden injury can have a huge impact on their mental health and well-being, possibly because the injury has caused their life to be harder. It may be more challenging to get around, develop or maintain relationships, find employment, go back to sports, and participate in leisure activities.
What can you do?
If you have suffered a severe physical injury and think that you may have developed depression, the following advice might be helpful:
- Discuss your situation with your doctor. There are many practitioners and mental health services that can assist you with your concerns; among them are general practitioners, psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health nurses, and social workers and occupational therapists in mental health. These people can help you get a proper diagnosis and acquire the treatment that is best for you.
- It will help to have a family member or a friend to come with you to these appointments. They may benefit from knowing more about your condition.
- Accept help and support from others.
- Be honest with yourself and acknowledge that you have been through a traumatic experience; and when you are ready, talk about your experience. It can also help to reach out to peer support groups.
Are you suffering from a physical injury due to an accident? Contact us at Hogan Injury for expert legal advice.
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