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Life After the Accident: How to Get Back on Track After a Workers’ Comp Injury

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Take Care of Yourself First and Foremost

When you’re the victim of a workplace accident, there’s typically so many emotions and thoughts running their course through you that it can be hard to adjust and cope with this unexpected life change. While of course, everyone thinks you should solely focus on recovery, the fact is that there is a lot of small, and not-so-small, repercussions of workplace injuries.

While the amount of time it takes each individual to get back on track is going to vary from person to person, depending on multiple factors. And of course each case is going to have their own unique aspects that either add to or detract from your overall experience with the unfortunate event, but there are steps you can take to help alleviate the negative impacts on your life.

Dealing With a New Disability

Whether it’s only temporary or a permanent injury or illness, there’s nothing easy or fun about dealing with a disability. However, the following steps may help get you in the right direction on this path.

  • Give yourself time to come to terms with your disability – Your life has been seriously altered and you’re likely believing that life will never be the same again, and you’ll have a miserable existence focused on fighting your workplace illness or disability. At this point, positive thinking is no easy feat but it is important that you work through it and regain a positive and enthusiastic outlook on life. Realize that for all intents and purposes, you are going through the mourning process. You’re going to experience grief, anger, sadness, and everything in between. Let them happen! Cry, scream out in rage, and hate the world — for a little while. Sooner or later you are going to have to make a choice — stay depressed and complain about your disability for the remainder of your days, or try to make the most of your life in spite of your limitations.
  • Nurture yourself – There is so much that you can do to help yourself feel better. From the mundane such as eating healthy and working with your doctor to come up with an acceptable exercise regime, to finding something that you enjoy such as a hobby or outside interest. You’ll do nobody any good just sitting around the home focusing on your pain, illness, or situation. The more you nurture your body, mind and spirit, the better you’re going to feel overall.
  • Help Yourself – Try to learn as much as you can about your specific injury or illness. You may find that specific exercises, procedures, or alternative therapies offer at least some relief and you may find one that is well-suited for your situation.
  • Concentrate On The “NOW” – Don’t dwell on the past, “what ifs,” or “should’ves.” Don’t worry about what could go wrong in the future or convince yourself that things are going to end “badly.” Try to release your anxiety and worry and just let the here-and-now happen.
  • Reduce your stress – Stress can exacerbate many illnesses, including depression of course. Basically, you should think of stress as cancer. While it generally starts out small, it can grow to the point that it completely takes over your life and actually causes physical changes. You may find that meditation, yoga, and even prayer are good stress reducers but even something as simple as learning breathing techniques can work wonders.

Anger & Depression After a Workplace Injury

Depression and emotional distress are the most common occurrence for those that have been injured in the workplace. Having to take time off to recover and work through the New York Workers’ Comp process is stressful and depressing and there are numerous things that can deepen your anger and depression.

These feelings are so common among those that suffer a work-related injury, many pain management doctors will automatically probe for signs of depression and may prescribe medication even though you currently don’t “feel depressed.” It is important that you are aware of your susceptibility to depression and that you seek psychological counseling if and when necessary.

As we said above, it’s okay to be angry. Nobody gets enthused about becoming disabled, no matter what the diagnosis and forecast for recovery is. But you have to pick your time to put your foot down and defy the anger and depression — refusing to let them take over your life or affect your health.

Lastly, you’re going to need your family and friends for support through this. Of course, they love you and don’t want to see you in pain, and many of them will likely want to help in any way they can. However, if all you do is complain about your life or moan about your pain, eventually that support is going to grow tired and you’ll see them start to pull away.

Learn All You Can

Not only about your workplace injury or illness, but also about New York law and your rights. The Accident Help Zone is New York’s #1 accident and injury resource center and we have everything that you need. Visit our website, read our blog, and learn all the aspects of your workplace injury and rights.