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Handling the effects of a serious injury takes a toll on all aspects of your life. The immediate consequences, of course, are your physical and mental health. But your family and friends are feeling the butterfly effects.
As you continue along the recovery process, it’s common to feel frustrated. You can’t do the things you once did, and you think you’re a burden to your loved ones.
You’re relying on others to do what used to be simple tasks. The things you once loved don’t hold any attraction anymore.
Over time, this can gradually turn into depression if you’re not careful. No matter how far into the emotional quicksand you’ve sunk, you can get yourself out of it.
If you’re not sure what the first step is or where to start, these tips will put you on the right path. They’ve been used by thousands of people after a serious injury. They’ve won their battle with depression, and you can, too!
1. Validate Your Feelings
The first thing you need to know is that it’s completely normal to feel all the emotions you’re going through. Many people fight depression after receiving a serious injury.
You’re not moping over something that won’t affect your life tomorrow or next week. You have a long-term injury, and what you’re feeling is valid.
You’re dealing with a lot at once, and the stress is enough to knock even the strongest people for a loop.
Just because you’re there now doesn’t mean it has to be where you stay, though. As long as you decide you want to get out of the emotional quicksand you’re in, you can overcome depression.
2. Be Okay With Accepting Help
For some reason, our society sees needing help as a negative quality and an admission of weakness.
The reality is the complete opposite. When you know you’ll need help in some areas in order to be strong in others, it’s a character strength, not a flaw.
Accepting Help Gracefully
You’re going to need help. The question is when and how. If you learn how to handle certain things strategically, you’ll actually need less assistance overall.
Let’s look at a plausible “for example.”
You have a child at school waiting for you to pick them up at the end of the day. You know you really shouldn’t be driving because you’re in a lot of pain. You do it anyway because you don’t want to burden anyone by asking them.
Along the way, you almost cause an accident because of your pain, so you slam on your brakes. The action prevents the collision but ends up exacerbating your injury.
The pain you’re in is too extreme to do anything. You have to rely on others to cook, clean, and care for you and your child for a few days.
In the opposite situation, you call a friend who is picking up their child anyway. They’re happy to help, and both children are thrilled to have a little extra time together in the car to hang out.
You take your pain meds, and they’ve kicked in before your child gets home. You feel well enough to enjoy the rest of the day with your family.
By choosing the kind of help you get, you need less assistance, and you enjoy your life more.
3. Get Professional Help
A staggering number, over 40 million people in the United States, per year, go for counseling at least once? The stigma surrounding mental health is disappearing. It’s almost universally acknowledged that psychotherapy is beneficial.
Part of depression happens because you feel like you have no control anymore. You can’t do what you want when you want it, and for adults, this can be extremely difficult.
The right counselor will teach you strategies to help you regain control of your life. They’ll help you to see the stories you’re telling yourself. You’ll learn how to see through the exaggeration or emotional thinking to the actual reality.
After some accidents, like ridesharing collisions, your insurance may pay for this therapy. Talk to your attorney to find out what coverage you have and what providers you may be able to see for free.
Battling depression, by nature, means that you often feel alone and as if no one cares. Although you may consciously know this isn’t true, your emotions override logical thinking.
To overcome the unhealthy emotions you’re dealing with, you have to change your thinking patterns. These three tips will scaffold you as you try to fight this difficult, but winnable battle.