A debilitating and unexpected injury can naturally lead to depression. Yet, the fact that depression is common and natural in such circumstances rarely makes it less painful. In fact, the people around you may use the frequency of depression in your situation as an excuse to say things like, “Cheer up” or “Get over it; at least you’re still alive.” Here are six things that, unlike those words, will actually help your depression, and may also help those close to you understand what you’re truly experiencing.
Acknowledge and Express All Your Emotions
Depression is associated with sadness and lack of interest in normal activity, which is accurate. Yet, most people don’t know the emotions associated with depression can run the gamut from sadness, to denial, to anger and to hopelessness, among many others. Surround yourself with supportive people who will let you vent when necessary, without judging you for your thoughts and feelings. Allow yourself a good cry, good scream, or session punching a pillow if you need one. Consider journaling or starting an anonymous blog about your journey to keep track of your progress through depression.
Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney
In the throes of depression, the prospect of a legal battle may seem even more daunting. The truth is, though, if your injury could have been prevented or if was due to another person’s negligence, you need help to rectify that wrong, and you have recourse. Contact local personal injury attorneys to find the right one for your situation. It’s a good idea to find someone who’s well-versed in helping clients obtain disability benefits and has experience in winning compensation for emotional as well as physical damages.
Seek a Trusted Counselor
Many people balk at the idea of spilling their life stories to strangers or fear that counselors will try to uncover problems that don’t exist, but counselors are there to help, not hurt. Talking feelings out with an impartial third party can be cathartic and even life-saving. Particularly if you are having suicidal thoughts or struggling with a depression-induced addiction, find a trusted counselor and utilize services for as long as you need them. Also, don’t be afraid to explore the possibility of medication, but make sure your counselor knows the dosage and affects of anything you might be taking.
Relearn to Laugh
Someone once said laughter is the best medicine, and they were right. Not much in life may seem funny right now, but finding humorous experiences can actually lift depression to a certain degree. Watch your favorite comedies or comedic performers. Ask family and friends to send you humorous cards or keep you updated on the lighthearted events in their lives. If you have children nearby, spend time with them. Their more innocent outlook on life may help yours.
Cuddle with an Animal Companion
Animal therapy is known to decrease depression in those experiencing serious injuries, the aging process and chronic illnesses. If you have a pet, spend time with him or her, even if your activities must change. For example, if you’re unable to walk your dog, you can still play quieter indoor games, such as training your dog to use a puzzle toy. If you don’t have a pet, consider adoption. Pet-oriented websites can help with this process. Many even offer quizzes and questionnaires to assist you in determining the right pet for you. The nature of some injuries may actually require a service animal. If this is the case, get in touch with the appropriate social agency, where you can be matched with a companion you can bond well with.
Hit the Books (or the Piano, or the Paints)
Art and music therapy, as well as book therapy, can all make a big difference in depressive symptoms. If you once loved any of these, make an effort to begin them again, even if the method by which you utilize them has changed. For example, if your hands or arms are injured, you may not be able to play an instrument, but you can explore singing. If an eye injury or vision loss prevents you from reading, try books on tape or large-print editions of books, or even seek help learning to read Braille if necessary. The artistic world is subjective, and there are few or no right or wrong answers. It also encourages creative expression, both of which can ease the pain of depression.
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 you cope, lessen your symptoms and start planning for a future beyond depression.
Author Bio: Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She writes about health, family, home and business.A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn’t writing. Informational credit to Dietrich Law.