The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act requires employers to provide medical care to cure the effects of a workplace injury. Sometimes, those effects may not be apparent in the emergency room, or in the weeks to come.
Numerous studies have shown that when injured workers are forced to remain at home for an extended period of time, instances of depression can skyrocket. One study found that almost 20% of injury sufferers were diagnosed with depression in the 12 months following their accident.
Imagine yourself suddenly changed from a person who wakes up each morning and heads to work with a purpose and a plan. Daily frustrations exist for everyone, but knowing that you are producing something of value, and will be paid at the end of the week helps us all to overcome the mundane irritations of life.
Now, through no fault of your own, you wake up each morning with nothing to do but stare at the walls and wait for your doctor’s appointment. Maybe you tore your rotator cuff and can’t even reach overhead to put your groceries away. Maybe you tore a ligament in your knee and are learning how to walk on crutches for the next three months. In any instance, you’re now dealing with the injury itself, the lost feeling of purpose that going to work provides, and the increased frustrations that come from being unable to attend to some of your basic needs – dressing yourself, brushing your teeth, cooking a meal.
Unfortunately, there’s no silver bullet for this problem. The attendant difficulties of an injury can’t be shrugged off or easily-medicated away. However, we have seen some clients take advantage of an unfortunate circumstance by attacking a previously-unrealized interest. A client of Kevin’s took a cooking class. A client of Lindsey’s spent time making stained glass. A client of mine spent more time at a family farm. Staying active and interested is one of the best things that you can do for yourself in this situation.