A spinal cord injury (SCI) is a life-altering event that can completely change life as you once knew it. There may be several changes taking place after your SCI, and you may find it hard to cope.
In America, depression occurs in about one in five people with an SCI, compared to one in 20 people in the general population who have not experienced an SCI. While it is perfectly normal to feel sad, lonely, confused, or angry after a SCI, if some symptoms last more than a couple of weeks, this may be a sign of a more serious underlying issue which may require further investigation and support.
The psychological and physical symptoms below can be caused by the onset of depression:
- Lack of interest in activities or low energy for activities
- Appetite changes
- Lack of concentration
- Difficulty or inability to make decisions
- Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
- Disruption or changes in sleeping pattern
- Feelings of self-blame
- Suicidal thoughts
It’s important to note that depression is not your fault.
While doctors and researchers have not been able to pinpoint an exact cause of depression, stressors such as those resulting from lifechanging events or medical issues can affect the chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain. This resulting imbalance, may present as the symptoms of depression, as listed above. Depression is treatable.
If you can relate to one or more of the above symptoms, it may be time to talk to a trusted friend or family member, or seek help from a physician about the possibility of depression, and ways to help you manage it.
Source: sci.washington.edu, Accessed: 6/19/17