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

No comments:

Post a Comment