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Why You Should Look Out for Signs of Depression After a Work 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.

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 recovery slower and increase its costs.

Signs of Depression

To diagnose depression correctly, 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 out on us and show 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 a “lesser” job. 

Can You Get Compensation for Depression?

Your workplace or conditions may indirectly cause the kind of depression you get as a result of a work-related injury. Under Missouri law, this is still generally covered by workers’ compensation.

However, as 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 have a number of the symptoms we have mentioned, or you are simply not feeling yourself lately, it may be beneficial to 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 workers compensation lawyer to get compensation for your treatment.

Speak With a St. Louis Work Injury Lawyer

People often focus on the physical and economic trauma a work injury and may tend to forget that the mind can suffer just as much. An experienced St. Louis work injury attorney can help you understand how to protect your right to compensation for all of your injuries after a work accident.

Updated: February 19, 2021
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