Monday, December 13, 2010

Chronic Pain, Depression & Your Credability

In the olden days - maybe 10 - 15 years ago - individuals in pain were often denied funding, for treatment and loss of wages, because of depression. As a result many people tried to hide their depression. Even though, depression caused by pain, injury and loss is a legitimate and often additional injury.

Lawyers and doctors working for insurers would often make the following conclusions. For example ...

"There is no evidence for physical pain and injury. There are signs of depression and anxiety. Depression is the real problem."

It's true that depression can be a real problem. In fact, many people with serious injuries, pain and widespread losses, after a car or work accident, do suffer from depression and anxiety. 

The accident causes physical injuries, which can lead to long-term pain in about 15% of accident victims. As pain continues in a person's life, more and more stresses occur. Losses of work, financial losses, strains in marriages and families, sleep difficulties and losses of independence and self-esteem are some examples. Over time, the buildup of these stresses and your relentless pain can lead to depression.

It would be unusual for an individual under these pressures, to not become depressed.

If depression does occur, this does not diminish the reality of your physical pain. In fact, it adds to your credibility. Depression is only there because your accident has caused so much pain,  stress and loss in your life. 

Your doctors should recognize that you now have 2 major sets of injuries and limitations - painful physical injuries and depression. These combined physical and psychological injuries can both limit your ability to work. You deserve treatment for both. In fact, that is what good rehabilitation is all about.

There is no need to feel frightened that  depression will hurt your right to benefits or compensation of losses by a lawsuit. Both physical chronic pain and depression can be caused by accidents. They can both lead to disability, when serious.

These facts are slowly being accepted by doctors, lawyers, employers, insurers, courts, and government agencies, all over the world. Hopefully, the olden days are past.

Yours with care

Friday, December 3, 2010

Accidents Victim with Chronic Pain - Simple Ideas to Help Your Credability

Chronic pain is now a well accepted injury following car and work accidents. Chronic pain has been accepted as a legitimate injury by scientists, doctors, the courts, disability insurers, worker's compensation and government agencies.

But victims of car and work accidents still never feel safe. You are still dependent on insurers to approve necessary treatments and provide financial security when you cannot work. This is a constant struggle.

Despite the recognition of chronic pain, worldwide, it is still best to assume that you always have to be ready to expalin yourself. Here are a few simple ideas that can help your credability.

First, learn about your injuries and symptoms. You are already the most knowledgeable person about your own body. You know far more, than even your doctor or family members. You live with your symptoms every moment of every day.

Create a short list on paper - the shorter the better. Memorize it. This is not because you don't already know it, but because you need to learn how to say it with as few words as possible. Short, concise and powerful. If others want to know more they can ask questions.

Practice talking out loud to yourself or to a mirror. Read from your short list and practice saying it with a clear and firm tone. Not aggressive, just firm and confident. Remember, you know what the truth is, no matter what anyone else thinks.

 It is not your job to convince others of how you feel. Your job is to tell the truth. That's all. The job of others is to trust you. This is especially important for family members and friends. They can always ask questions, or read the reports, if they are confused. 

If you are being challenged by someone in authority, such as an insurer, lawyer or even your own doctor, offer to have a report sent to them. Don't try to argue with professionals. If you sense that they don't trust you, only reports or evidence from professionals will help. Then, it is their job to read the reports and learn the facts.

I hope these ideas can make your life at least at little bit easier. I will return to this topic over and over again. It is an important one, for all accident victims, and for anyone who lives every day in pain.

Yours with care,