Published on March 6, 2024

Psychological Impact of a Traumatic Injury

Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident or natural disaster. Physical injuries may result in wounds, broken bones and internal organ damage. Due to the shock of the unexpected injury, a person who has experienced physical trauma will also experience psychological trauma. Typical responses include shock and denial. Physical symptoms can include nausea or headaches. Some people have difficulties moving on with their lives. Here, we will discuss the psychological impacts of a traumatic injury. The severity of the physical injuries often requires immediate medical attention. However, the psychological effects can linger.

Specialized Pittsburgh personal injury lawyers share that there are many aspects of a traumatic injury, including both physical and emotional impacts. We cannot overlook the psychological impacts as depression, anxiety, anger and bitterness are often experienced as a result of being immobile due to physical injuries.  

Shock, Denial or Disbelief

One of the first effects of a traumatic injury is the shock, denial or disbelief that it brings to the victim. The mind has to deal with the disruption in normalcy. It is quite natural for the mind to be overwhelmed by such events. This can in turn, lead to feelings of vulnerability and helplessness, 

Confusion and Difficulty Concentrating

The sufferers of psychological trauma due to physical injury can often find themselves in a state of confusion and have difficulty concentrating on what is happening before them. They often go back to relive the event in their minds. They start comparing their lives before the event and after it and wonder why it happened to them.

Anger, Irritability and Mood Swings

Traumatic injuries are often followed by episodes of anger or PTSD felt by sufferers. They can be overly aggressive at times.They can be irritated by trivial matters as they easily lose patience and their grip on reality. It is really important to manage and control their mood swings, and this can be done by enlisting professional help. It should be emphasized that this is only a temporary phase and it will soon pass. Patients should be reassured that their emotional state will improve as they gain more control over their physical state.

Anxiety and Fear

Feelings of anxiety and fear are common with those recovering from traumatic injuries. When they are faced with pain and lack of physical movement, it can create anxiety as to how long it will take to recover from this condition. There is often a feeling of anxiety associated with not being able to move normally. It can lead to fear of the future and even trigger depression for victims suffering after a traumatic injury.  

Guilt, Shame and Self Blame

Some traumatic injury sufferers are riddled with feelings of guilt and shame. They may feel that they are directly or indirectly the cause of the event. They may even feel ashamed and blame themselves for the incident when it might not really be their fault. 

Withdrawing from Others

It is quite natural for patients with post-traumatic stress to withdraw from others in society. They do not want to move out of the home or mingle with others. They feel a sense of isolation and social anxiety as they are not complete in themselves.

Feeling Sad or Hopeless

Feelings of sadness and hopelessness are observed as psychological impacts of a traumatic injury. Patients can feel sad about their present condition and wonder when their condition will improve. This can also engender feelings of hopelessness as time goes on. 

Feeling Disconnected or Numb

Feeling disconnected or numb is a common symptom of people who are psychologically affected by traumatic injury. Their minds may go numb with disbelief and they may not be willing to accept their present condition.

Importance of Understanding Psychological Impacts

We have looked at various psychological factors that are the aftermath of traumatic physical injury and appear concurrently with them. It is important to give the patients a sense of hope and positivity so that they can recover from their present condition as soon as possible. Caregivers should listen actively, build up friendships and interact with the patients to help speed up recovery efforts.


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