Many people who have suffered the misfortune of a workplace injury face the prospect of being out for work for an extended period of time. Being out of work for a long period of time can lead to other challenges (loss of income, lack of physical activity, inability to pay bills, prolonged periods of pain, anxiety, and so on). One of the big problems injured workers in these situations face is the increased likely hood that they could become depressed.
I have done some research on the internet and found several lists of signs to look for if you believe you or someone you know might be depressed. The first list is taken from the National Institute of Mental Health (www.nimh.nih.gov) and the second list is taken from The Mayo Clinic (www.mayoclinic.com).
I wanted to pass this information on to you so that you can hopefully recognize when you or someone you know may need help.
Signs and symptoms include: (www.nimh.nih.gov)
*Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
*Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
*Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
*Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
*Fatigue and decreased energy
*Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
*Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
*Overeating, or appetite loss
*Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
*Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment.
Depression symptoms include: (www.mayoclinic.com)
*Feelings of sadness or unhappiness
*Irritability or frustration, even over small matters
*Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
*Reduced sex drive
*Insomnia or excessive sleeping
*Changes in appetite — depression often causes decreased appetite and weight loss, but in some people it causes increased cravings for food and weight gain
*Agitation or restlessness — for example, pacing, hand-wringing or an *inability to sit still
*Irritability or angry outbursts
*Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
*Indecisiveness, distractibility and decreased concentration
*Fatigue, tiredness and loss of energy — even small tasks may seem to require a lot of effort
*Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself when things aren’t going right
*Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
*Frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide
*Crying spells for no apparent reason
*Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
For some people, depression symptoms are so severe that it’s obvious something isn’t right. Other people feel generally miserable or unhappy without really knowing why.
Depression affects each person in different ways, so symptoms caused by depression vary from person to person. Inherited traits, age, gender and cultural background all play a role in how depression may affect you
If you are dealing with depression related to your work injury, make sure you discuss this information with your doctor.
For more information on work injuries and Virginia Workers Compensation, order my book, “The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia” by clicking this link, or call our office today (804) 755-7755.
Michele Lewane, Esq.