Burn injuries cause intense physical trauma and require intrusive medical procedures that can be distressing to live through. But the physical wounds are only one side of burn injuries; many victims suffer emotional and psychological distress from the initial burn and resulting treatment.
The full extent of the psychological and emotional impacts of burn injuries can last days, months, or years after the injury. About one third of burn injury victims continue to experience psychological and emotional distress two years after the injury. Victims of burn injuries often experience:
- Feeling sad, angry, anxious, or hopeless
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Feeling isolated
- Difficulty staying concentrated
- Low energy levels
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Psychological and emotional distress from burn injuries can result from the physical pain of the injury, but it can also result from the anxiety about the future, concern about the appearance of the injury, or recollection of the incident that caused the injury. If the injury and scars are visible—located on the face, arms, or legs—then the victim has to cope with major changes in her appearance.
Often burn injury victims are frustrated by the impact of the injury and embarrassed or self-conscious of the new scars. The psychological and emotional distress of these injuries can interfere with work and personal relationships, and can worsen other medical conditions.
It is important for burn injury victims to treat the emotional and psychological effects off a burn injury along with the physical effects. Psychological effects can last for years if victims do not get the chance to face injuries and recover from the distress. Treatment options for the psychological and emotional effects of burn injuries include:
- Support groups with other burn injury victims. Organizations like the Phoenix Society and the Burned Children’s Fund of the Medical University of South Carolina
- Maintain health—burn injury victims are not cured when they leave the hospital. Victims are usually discharged with extremely sensitive skin and rely on self continued-care plans.
- Medications—burn injury victims may need medications for pain management or psychological symptoms like depression
- Rely on family and friends for support
Returning to a normal routine is the quickest path to emotional recovery after a burn injury. Still it may take a long time to psychologically recover after a burn injury. The difficulties the victim faces the day after the injury will not be the same struggles the victim has one month or one year later. Victims may initially deal with problems like anxiety and fear while undergoing treatment, but after treatment victims face social anxiety over returning to their normal lives.
While adjusting to a new lifestyle can be difficult, there are many people who can support you through your transition.
Burn Injury Attorneys
The Walker Morgan Law Firm is committed to helping you recover compensation for a burn injury, including damages related to pain and suffering from the injury. Call us today at (803) 359-6194 to schedule a free consultation.