Life After Paralysis: How to Suggest Mental Health Therapy

Going through a spinal cord injury and getting back to life after paralysis can be one of the hardest things to do.

Life after paralysis can be tough, but suggesting mental health therapy to an SCI patient can be harder. Click to learn more.

This extremely challenging period unsurprisingly can make spinal cord injury patients much more vulnerable to mental health issues. Beyond the new physical challenges of paralysis, mental health issues can make life feel difficult.

It can be tricky approaching a loved one who has suffered a spinal cord injury to suggest therapy, potentially someone who is already justifiably sensitive about their independence. However, mental health therapy and therapy for paralysis can make a huge difference to someone who has been struggling without mental health support. Here’s how you can broach the subject and suggest mental health therapy.

Mental struggles after spinal cord injury

Spinal cord injuries touch every aspect of life and demand a level of adaptation and mental strength to overcome.

There are many aspects of life that before spinal injury and paralysis would never warrant a second thought, but the new way of life requires a strategic, careful approach. From physical abilities to self-image, life after paralysis can present a seemingly never-ending series of new difficulties to adapt to.

Many mental health problems can arise for anyone, but there is a significant percentage of spinal cord injury survivors experiencing depression, anxiety, and PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), as well as other issues, such as chronic pain, exacerbating the situation.

How mental health therapy for paralysis helps

Fundamentally, the challenges of returning to normality after paralysis are demanding. From all the practical aspects of life in a wheelchair to how such a change can affect your idea of self, there is a lot to be considered when recovering mentally as well as physically.

Learning to adjust to your new circumstances takes courage, and so can reaching out for help, especially if you’re already feeling dependent. However, mental health issues shouldn’t ever be stigmatised for anyone, and with most of us struggling with anxiety and depression at some time or other, it’s vital to view looking after your mental health as a standard part of your journey of adjustment.

It’s also important to consider how mental health problems can interfere with physical health. Whether we’re talking about depression, anxiety, or PTSD, they can all have a negative impact that goes far beyond the mental.

For instance, when it comes to adhering to treatment recommendations, such as physical therapy, nothing saps motivation like depression or prevents you from attending appointments like anxiety. Mental health issues can impact your behaviours, spoil your relationship with caregivers, and exacerbate loneliness.

How to approach mental health therapy for paralysis to a loved one

Suggesting mental health therapy to anyone can be extremely difficult, but it’s sometimes a real necessity. Talk to them in a private setting, ensuring they feel comfortable and bring up the subject in a calm, reasonable and pragmatic manner.

This is about their health, life after paralysis, and the impact that mental health therapy can have on them. You need them to understand that your suggestion is coming from a place of caring, understanding and desire to help.

Try to prevent promoting stereotypes, be wary of derogatory language, and avoid suggesting that the person “needs” therapy. This is about empowering a loved one to help heal themselves through a new avenue, with zero shame, judgement or coercion involved.

Mental health therapy for paralysis can yield many different benefits, from helping people enjoy and engage with exercise and hobbies again to looking into medication possibilities that might help them work through their issues in therapy.

Therapy can provide them with coping skills, giving them a space to vent and address problematic behaviour patterns. Support groups can also be extremely helpful.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can get the right compensation for your claim, allowing you to afford the best treatment possible after a spinal cord injury.