If you have a friend or family member who has been injured on the job and is out of work on workers’ compensation you may notice changes in their behavior or attitude. You should know that this is common, but be aware that issues relating to depression and mental health are frequent in workers’ compensation cases and can be serious.
An injured worker typically loses more than just a job. Many people consider their employment an important piece of who they are and most folks at least partially describe themselves by their job. Additionally, a worker who is injured on the job in NC may no longer be able to enjoy their hobbies, such as golf, hunting or walking, or even playing with kids or grandkids. At the same time, the injured worker may be dealing with chronic pain, sometimes for the first time in their life. Frequently, all of these losses will combine to contribute to loss of self-worth and even depression. The North Carolina workers’ compensation system can provide necessary medical benefits and replace some income but it is not a substitute for the satisfaction that comes from a full life including gainful employment. Unfortunately, depression and mental health issues are common in workers’ compensation claims.
The following warning signs may help determine if your friend or family member who has been injured on the job in NC needs help.
- Increase intake of substances like alcohol or drugs
- No reason for living; no sense for purpose in life
- Anxiety/ panic attacks
- Agitation or irritability
- Unable to sleep (insomnia) or sleeping all the time
- Feeling trapped; no way out
- Withdrawal from friends, family, and society
- Uncontrolled anger; seeking revenge
- Acting reckless or engaging in risky behaviors
- Dramatic mood changes
- Lack of interest in activities that were previously pleasurable, work, school, etc.
- Gives away prized possessions and/or prepares for death by making out will (unexpectedly) and final arrangements
- Loses interest in their physical appearance
- Faced with situations or failure or humiliation
- History of violence or hostility
- Unwilling to connect with a person who is trying to help him or her through the problem
- Trouble eating: not eating or overeating
Please call or email if you would like to discuss a friend or family member has been injured on the job in NC. We would be glad to speak with you at no charge. Kevin is a Board Certified Expert in North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Law.