Depression is one of the mental disorders that can appear or exacerbate symptoms in people who have suffered a work-related injury.
Monitoring your mental health and taking action when symptoms indicate a change in your mental health is very important for your long-term well-being.
Studies show that work-related injuries, especially more serious ones, can increase the risk of depression, which, in turn, leads to a greater incidence of substance abuse, delayed recovery, decreased productivity, and so on. Overall, a work-related injury can impact one’s life and trigger mental struggles that make a recovery slower and increase its costs.
Signs of Depression
To correctly diagnose depression, you will generally have to visit a psychiatrist or psychotherapist. Before you get there, you might notice symptoms like:
- Fatigue, low energy level
- Lack of interest in activities that normally gave you pleasure
- Decreased productivity at work
- Sleep disturbances, like insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Feeling pessimistic, sad, anxious, worthless, etc.
- Feeling numb or empty
- Physical symptoms like headaches, digestive problems, chest pains.
Sometimes, it’s hard to identify depression, especially since it tends to creep up on us and manifest worse symptoms with time. This is why a mental health check should be considered by any patient who has suffered a disruptive injury and recovery process.
Depression can start manifesting itself during recovery and in the period after recovery when the injured worker returns to their job. For example, adapting to light-duty work can be tough for some, as they no longer feel the same sense of worth from what they feel is a “lesser” job.
Can You Get Compensation for Depression?
The kind of depression you get as a result of a work-related injury is indirectly caused by your workplace or conditions. Under Missouri law, it’s still generally covered by workers’ compensation, under the legal term of “physical-mental” disorder.
However, as it is with your physical injuries, you carry the burden of proof. In other words, you are responsible for providing evidence to demonstrate that your injuries were a result of your job, workplace, or work conditions.
What to Do If You’re Experiencing Depression After Work Injury
If you show a number of the symptoms we have mentioned, or you are simply not feeling like yourself lately, we kindly recommend you schedule a consultation with a mental health specialist to make sure everything is ok.
Mental disorders should be treated like any other injury, reported to the insurance company and your employer, and included in your workers’ compensation claim or personal injury lawsuit. After being seen and diagnosed by a doctor, make a plan of action with your St. Louis work accident lawyer to get funds for your treatment and successfully treat your mental health.
St. Louis Work Accident Lawyers
Workers and employers often focus on the physical and economic trauma a work injury can cause and forget that the mind can suffer just as much. An experienced St. Louis work injury attorney at the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann can help you get the full amount of compensation you are legally entitled to.
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