Mental Health Issues and Rehabilitation

When a person suffers from an accident or trauma, they may have psychological and emotional reactions to the trauma, which may lead to the onset of mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.

Evidence suggests that having a mental health problem might hinder the results of the rehabilitation process, therefore having a healthy mental state will improve your patient’s chances of recovering. Approximately one-third of patients receiving inpatient rehabilitation experience depression, which affects their ability to function and their quality of life.

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Psychological responses/ mental issues

It is unpredictable how an injury will affect a person’s mental well-being and psychological reaction; it may have an impact right away, in the post-injury period, throughout rehabilitation, and then after they resume normal activities. These mental and emotional responses to injury are typical. However, if the symptoms persist or become worse over time, they represent a problem [3]. The length of recovery is impacted by these answers.

  • Lack of motivation, the patient will find it challenging to retain his motivation in the absence of a known return to activity and complete recovery since it is often uncertain, similar to a concussion.
  • Changes in appetite, such as an athletic injury, may have an impact since the person may believe they don’t deserve to eat because of their injury or performance failure.
  • Depression and thoughts of suicide.
  • Sleep disruption.
  • Feelings of melancholy or irritation may be experienced as a direct effect of the brain injury.
  • They downplay the seriousness of the injuries and believe it’s not as awful as the medical professionals are saying.
  • Fear of re-injury: Patients with emotional and mental health issues may overthink and think excessively, which may impede the recovery process. Patients tend to examine situations to determine what went wrong and how to prevent it in the future.
  • Cognitive therapy and physical rest are used to treat concussions and psychological reactions to concussions, such as depression.

How to support mental health issues

  1. Education: Inform the patient about their injury and the steps involved in recovering from it. Misinformation from the internet should be dispelled, and the demonstration should be provided in a manner that the patient can easily grasp.
  2. Develop a relationship of trust with your patient. Patients go through a variety of emotions that might make it challenging for other people in the care network to connect with them.
  3. Establish goals. By establishing both short-term and long-term objectives, you can encourage the patient to finish their therapy.
  4. Create a support network for your patient among their friends, family, and loved ones.

Many experts believe that the first or second reaction in trauma patients is depression. When a patient has depression, they often experience feelings including shock, denial, rage, and movement. Anti-depressants may be prescribed, but this isn’t the sole kind of therapy; there are other behavior-change techniques.

During the recovery process, it is crucial for the members of the rehabilitation team to address emotional problems and depressive symptoms.

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Clinical implications

Stroke patients:

In stroke patients, depression may be seen as a biological process that is related to the size and location of the afflicted brain region. Post-stroke depression is what it’s known as, and it may have a detrimental impact on patient outcomes, functional status, quality of life, and subsequent complications.

Depression is thought to be more prevalent in stroke patients with aphasia than in those without, and studies have shown that death rates drop when depression is medically treated. The physician may sometimes need to address depression before dealing with physical rehab since our objective of rehabilitation is to increase one’s adaption to a handicap in order to cope with functional progress.

Athletic injury rehab:

Psychological reactions include loss of identity, fear, worry, loss of confidence, denial of damage, fast mood swings, and irrational fear of re-injury may all have an impact on the recovery process. Although employing goal-setting, cognitive frameworks, keeping the patient motivated, and psychological support are beneficial tactics for dealing with the rehabilitation process and social approach, the quicker recovery is possible.

In critical care:

Younger and older patients both demonstrated a considerable incidence of long-term cognitive and psychological impairment after critical care discharge, which has an effect on long-term function and quality of life.

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