Depression after Illness or Injury
Sudden and unexpected health events may change an individual's life in many ways. Health events are characterized by sadness, shock, grief, anger, and loss. With time, such feelings pass, but when they result in continuous stress, a patient may be at risk of anxiety and depression. Likewise, people living with chronic illnesses are at greater risks of developing anxiety and depression (Albrecht & Kiptanui, 2015). There are also less common chronic physical illnesses that are associated with depression, for example, chronic fatigue syndrome and chronic pain. Most people with major illnesses and injuries are always susceptible to post-injury depression. The depression may be worse if the illness or injury has changed the patient's ways of life permanently (Ouellet & Beaulieu, 2018).
I once had a patient who suffered from a massive stroke. She was a 58-year-old lady who loved taking a walk with her husband and was crazy about Zumba lessons. The stroke was unexpected and severe such that she could not drive, walk, and use the left side of her body. She had to be assisted when going to the toilet. The fact that she relied on her children and husband made her feel awkward and embarrassed.
I put her through intense physiotherapy and after two weeks, she started taking back some basic remnants of her privacy and independence. However, the initial experience emotionally shuttered her and she could not adjust to her new version. She was not able to do many activities she enjoyed before the attack and this made her sad, bored, and lonely. Although she was responding well to the treatment, she was scared of having a stroke attack again, missing out, and the manner in which she would cope. It affected her feeding and she saw no reason of getting out of bed.
Being a chancellor, the strategy I used were scheduled weekly counseling sessions for my patients for a period of four months. I managed to help her get over her grief and to set new expectations. I also helped her to develop practical ways of starting a new life. I addressed the fear and anxiety caused by the stroke and reconsidered the unhelpful pattern of thinking (Ouellet & Beaulieu, 2018). The treatment could have been better if I could have considered helping her redefine her belief system on how she expected her life to be. In as much as I was offering a listening ear and emotional support, I could have also mapped the stages or recovery to provide hope to my patient (Khan & Baguley, 2003).
There are legal and ethical implications that need to be considered when providing care for patients with illnesses or injuries resulting from depression or suspicious illnesses or injuries. Some of the legal implications include: consent must be given voluntarily by the patient or obtained from the legal next of keen if the patient is mentally incapable; and proper medical documentation (Ringdal & Plos, 2009). The ethical implications include the duty to provide care; right of privacy; respecting of the patient's choice, transparency; and effectiveness.
In summary, people may develop depression after a particular experience or event. Patients experiencing major illnesses and injuries are most likely to experience depression due to the emotional impact of those illnesses and injuries. The patients can overcome depression and obtain new life after their injuries if they are counseled by professional psychologists and counselors.
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Khan, F., Baguley, I. J., & Cameron, I. D. (2003). 4: Rehabilitation after traumatic brain
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