Limb Loss and Depression

Posted by on Wednesday | November 28, 2012

Limb Loss and Depression

Losing a limb is a life-altering experience that will change the way you see yourself and how you function in the world. Adjusting to a new life with a missing limb is a long and difficult process and it’s no surprise that some people fall into depression.

Depression after amputation is a relative experience. Sometimes a person learns to adapt without batting an eyelash, but some go through cycles of mourning and grief because they lost a part of themselves literally. While this is a natural reaction to the loss, it can turn into a clinical condition that requires external help from loved ones and professionals. There are cases that patients fail to snap out of their depression. Therefore they fail to take the necessary steps to learn how to function without the limb.

To help a person move on, an amputee must eventually face the facts. They no longer have the limb, they can’t use their body the same way, and they no longer look like everyone else. They need to redefine and rediscover who they are without the limb. Empowering a person with a lost limb may be difficult because not everyone can relate. But that’s what the professionals are for. Motivating a depressed amputee can be done through grief therapy or counseling sessions with a psychiatrist or a support group. For grave cases of depression, the person must be assessed by a medical expert to see if the person needs to take antidepressants.


[Photo Credit: Susan NYC on Flickr]

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