The Long-Term Effects of Chronic Pain Are Psychological, Physical and Social
Many people think of chronic pain as only a physical problem. Whether it stems from car accident injuries, injuries sustained in a slip and fall, an overuse injury from work or another problem, chronic pain affects far more than just your physical health.
The long-term effects of chronic pain can result in:
- Long-term disability
- Emotional and psychological concerns
- Problems in your marriage or other relationships
While it is easy to calculate all of your economic losses stemming from an accident, this type of non-economic loss tied to chronic pain is more difficult to deduce. It is not impossible, however, to get compensation for these damages. If your injuries occurred because of someone else’s carelessness, you may be eligible to collect compensation for both your economic and non-economic losses through a third-party insurance claim or lawsuit.
Impacts on Mental and Psychological Health
There is no doubt that accident injuries and the chronic pain that they often cause leads to concerns about mental and psychological wellbeing in a large number of victims.
Mental states that can appear or be aggravated by long-term effects of constant pain are:
- Sleep disorders
- Inability to focus
- Mood disorders
Many people report a decrease in their overall happiness after an injury, including a decrease in joy and enthusiasm even when spending time with family or participating in favorite activities. In fact, severe chronic pain can contribute to suicidal feelings. According to a review of various studies published in the International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, uncontrollable physical pain or chronic illness plays a major role in about seven out of every ten suicides.
These mental and psychological health concerns -- especially when you feel suicidal -- can greatly impact your life. Prompt and effective mental health care is necessary, whether that includes talking with a therapist, considering prescription anti-depressants or discussing the possibility of other treatment options with your doctor.
Loss of Abilities
Chronic pain forces you to consider your body’s abilities constantly. You must weigh what you want to do against what your body will allow you to do. If you push beyond this limit, what consequences will you pay? How long will it take you to recover? While all of this conflict occurs in your head, it equates to some very real loss of ability in the real world.
Many people with chronic pain cannot return to work after their injury, or must take a lower-paying job outside of their previous industry in order to be able to work. Lost career ambitions lead to depression and feelings of hopelessness. Of course, this is only magnified when you add in the lost wages and loss of benefits from being unable to complete your previous job duties.
But this loss of abilities extends far beyond the workplace. It affects all aspects of your life. Some people struggle to lift their children, or to continue to care for beloved pets. Some struggle with self-care. It is common for those with chronic pain to stop previous hobbies, especially those that require physical exertion.
Damage to Personal and Social Relationships
Between the pain, limited mobility, psychological effects and medication side effects, many with chronic pain after an accident struggle to keep up with their friends and family. It is difficult to maintain social relationships when you have little to no interest in going out, and may not even be able to participate in the things you used to enjoy. After the initial influx of visitors, friends often get busy with their usual routines and stop coming by or checking in on accident victims.
Chronic pain patients may also experience problems in their marriage. Often, the marital relationship takes the brunt of the emotional issues tied to an accident injury and the resulting long-term pain. Pair this with the fact that libido is often the first casualty of chronic pain, and you will understand why marriages and other intimate relationships are often damaged beyond repair when one partner suffers a major injury.
Taking Steps to Recover Compensation
If you or a loved one suffers from chronic pain after a Georgia accident, the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC may be able to help you get compensation for your economic and non-economic losses caused by the accident. If a careless driver, business owner or other negligent party’s actions led to your accident, call us today at 404-474-0804 to schedule your complimentary case review. We can help you get the compensation you deserve.