3 ways to initiate mental recovery after a debilitating injury

Life is full of surprises. Unfortunately, some surprises aren’t what people intend to get. There comes a time when something unexpected happens, when all the weight of the world is put on your back. One of the most common things that happens unexpectedly is to have a debilitating injury.

This is one of the hardest things to accept for people as they tend to think that they can never live a normal life again. Most people who suffer from these injuries become depressed and isolated because they feel that they don’t belong anymore. The worst part of having debilitating injuries is that they span more than physical pain. They afflict more damage mentally than what people would expect.

While having injuries may prove to be unfortunate, people who suffer from these cases should know that they are not alone in this fight. There are ways to avoid feeling further isolation and depression, given the right approaches coupled with the will to go forward and perseverance to move on. Here are 3 ways to initiate mental recovery after a debilitating injury.

Welcome support from people

Any person who suffers injuries that change his or her life should have people who make it a point to be there when the going gets tough. However, some people who feel that they can’t live a regular life anymore resent help and support from others who still believe that they can.  This is common for a large number of people because they feel more pity for themselves and, therefore, don’t need that type of consolation.


Everybody deals with trauma in different ways. Every person has unique thoughts, personal experiences and preferences — people like to cope with traumatic events in their own personal ways. Despite the differences, when experiencing trauma, many scholars in the field of psychology and counseling have noted similar findings which can be broken down into stages of coping. The stages include denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

Although these stages are widely appreciated in the field, they remain broad and cover only the bare bones of of grief and trauma. They cover general emotions one would expect to feel in these situations, but there is no right or wrong way to feel. Every single person who goes through a traumatic injury will have different views and experience unique emotions. As such, the timeline for coping stages does vary.

What should be taken in mind is that support from family members and friends can negate the feeling of loneliness. Persons who suffer with physical injuries should start welcoming support from other people in order to have a better mindset for recovery. Although this is harder for some people to accept, care from other people can provide more benefits than harm, and can give you the mental fortitude to continue enduring the hard times.

Depressive symptoms may also stem from the loss of a physical outlet and a change in exercise schedule, especially for active people who spent hours every day focused on building their body. Living with an injury that changes their daily routine could be a difficult adjustment. Psychologists agree that seeking help from peers who have had similar experiences, especially if they’ve overcome the psychological effects, can be helpful for all people. In this regard, communicating one’s anxieties to other people who can assure you that “life goes on” can be encouraging.

Start something new

A physical injury can hinder a person from participating in activities he or she did regularly in the past. However, despite the limitations, it is still possible to live in the same way as before the injury. On top of that, a disabled person can start learning something new and productive. There are sports and physical activities that can still engage a person with physical limitations.

Art and music therapy, as well as book therapy, can all make a big difference in depressive symptoms. If one once loved any of these, he or she should make an effort to begin them again, even if the method by which one utilizes them has changed. For example, if one’s hands or arms are injured, a person may not be able to play an instrument, but he or she can explore singing. If an eye injury or vision loss prevents a person from reading, books on tape or large-print editions of books, or even learning to read Braille can help if necessary.

The artistic world is subjective, and there are practically no wrong answers. It also encourages creative expression, both of which can ease the pain of depression.

If a person wants to engage in physical activities, he or she can still do so, especially now that technologies like the KD Smart Chair are available in the market. Not only does it help a person to be mobile, it is also versatile and durable enough to have somebody involved with a variety of other activities.

The pain of depression after a debilitating injury often feels worse than the injury itself. In fact, depression can cause the injured person to wonder if there is a reason to continue living. Strategies like these can help one cope, lessen symptoms and start planning for a future beyond depression.

Own a pet

Having a dog or cat can help a person feel much more relaxed and happy, especially given the constraints of physical injury. In fact, playing with a dog or cat can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine which are responsible for the feeling of being relaxed.

Owning pets can make people see a totally different perspective, leading them to believe in themselves or their capabilities, and create a better outlook on what else they can do. Pets are valuable beings that connect people socially. They are like social magnets, which can be so beneficial to any distressed individual. Pets give a sense of comfort and company, especially if a person is an innate pet lover. According to research, people with pets are generally happier, more trusting and less lonely than those who don’t have pets.

Also, having pets affects mental health, which contributes to having good overall health.  Keeping a pet around helps train the mind to be mentally stable in order to take on new challenges in life. With pets, everything is brand new and exciting while working wonders for the owner’s mental health.

Dogs, cats and birds can be great domestic companions. Often, dogs feel the need to support other living things. They can support a disabled person’s physical, emotional and mental pain. They would seek to be his or her best friend, and lift them up, refusing to allow that person to remain alone. Similarly, a cat’s innate caring demeanor can provide a new light to an owner’s gloomy state.

Also, a pet-owner can talk to his or her pet about anything — their pain, hopes, joys and depression. Interestingly, one can converse with their pets, talk about heartbreaks, divulge his or her truths and even verbally blow off steam. A pet can be the perfect “person” to talk to when that person simply wants to vent out and let reality set in gradually and comfortably.

Jessica Gonzalez

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