Life after a spinal cord injury can be challenging to cope with. Many adults living with SCIs have an increased risk of depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions.
While physical care is critical following an SCI, mental health care is just as critical.
Allow yourself to grieve
Severe, life-altering injuries will result in a period of mourning. Give yourself time to mourn your losses and the changes in your life. You may find it challenging to move forward if you do not grieve. However, if your grief makes it difficult for you to move forward or feel isolated, you may want to reach out to a mental health professional, family friend, social worker or someone who can help you navigate your grief.
Take back your independence
Independence can look different after a spinal cord injury. You may not have the same mobility you had prior, but there are ways that you can acclimate to a new-found independence. Start by looking for home modifications. Ramps, grab bars, special sinks and doorknobs can make your home more accessible.
You may even be able to find vehicle modifications that can allow you to drive again. The type of SCI and the severity will determine what modifications you need to make in your personal life to regain independence.
While coping with a spinal cord injury takes work, many people live fulfilling lives following an accident. To adjust to life after a spinal cord injury, educate those around you so that others can help during recovery.