Many of the injured workers we represent at Wertz, Dake & Anderson experience significant work injuries. Many of these injuries result in surgeries, lengthy times missing work, permanent restrictions, and chronic pain. At times the seriousness of the work injury results in job changes and loss of employment. As a consequence, many times untreated and undetected, depression may develop.
Depression is something that usually does not happen immediately following an injury. Depression, related to a work injury, is generally associated with what are referred to as psycho-social stressors. Common stressors from work injuries are chronic pain, loss of function and loss of employment. Many injured workers are reluctant to seek care for depression, and many times the treating doctors fail to recognize depression. This can be a very serious condition and should not be ignored. Treatment can be very helpful, and the sooner treatment is provided the greater likelihood treatment will be beneficial.
Depression can have many symptoms. There can be issues with respect to concentration, memory, fatigue, mood, sleeping, feeling down, having serious issues with being around others, having difficulties finding pleasure in day to day activities, and even suicidal thoughts. These same issues can be difficult to sort out from chronic pain, as chronic pain can result in many, if not all of these same problems.
If an injured worker is experiencing these issues, she/he should discuss this with their doctor and not let these issues be ignored. Sometimes it’s hard for an injured worker to accept that they are experiencing depression. Depression is a very serious medical condition and should not be ignored.