Spinal Cord Injuries and Anxiety

Charlotte Mental Health ServicesSeptember is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) estimates that there are approximately 17,000 new spinal cord injuries per year. There is no doubt that overcoming a traumatic, life altering injury can impact your mental health and well-being. Those who have suffered a spinal cord injury (SCI) are likely to develop anxiety and other anxiety related conditions like PTSD. Managing these two conditions in those with a spinal cord injury is crucial. For quality Charlotte mental health services, call Legacy Freedom!

The loss of control, freedom, and independence that comes from a spinal cord injury often results in a sense of fear and anxiety. The constant feelings of being dependent on others or feeling helpless can introduce multiple anxiety symptoms like racing thoughts, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and panic attacks. While research shows that anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorder in America, those with a SCI are more likely to experience generalized anxiety. A recent study showed that 30 percent of people with a SCI reported suffering from generalized anxiety.

How do you know if you are struggling with anxiety? Here are the most common symptoms associated with general anxiety disorder:

  • Trouble focusing
  • Heart palpitations or increased heart rate
  • Dizziness, fainting or headaches
  • Feelings of being on edge
  • Constant sense of tension or fear
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Powerlessness
  • Feelings of danger or impending death
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Periods of sweating

Symptoms of anxiety can interfere with the recovery process of a spinal cord injury. Fear of reinjury or fear of being left alone and helpless are often two of the greatest anxiety producing fears that those who have been recently injured face. These fears replay themselves throughout the day as caregivers change, physical therapy requirements increase, and more testing is done to understand the extent of the injury. These concerns and anxieties can take years to resolve for some people.

Treating anxiety in those with spinal cord injuries is crucial for the long term well-being of the individual with the injury. Failing to address anxiety can result in behavioral changes. These changes can have significant impacts on the relationships between parents and children, spouses or partners and even caregivers. Unmanaged anxiety makes a person less likely to follow medical professionals' recommendations and makes them less compliant with physical therapy or other treatments. Another consideration in someone with anxiety and a SCI is that they are already more likely to attract infections. Mental health conditions affect the body's overall health and ability to fight illness and disease.

Many survivors of spinal cord injuries are reluctant to talk about the way they are feeling for fear of further burdening friends, family or loved ones. However, now more than ever, addressing the mental health needs of the person with the SCI is crucial for long term success. If you, or someone you love, have a spinal cord injury and are struggling with anxiety, Legacy Freedom of Charlotte can help.

Drug Free Charlotte Mental Health Services You Can Trust

Our holistic approach to mental health care puts you at the center of your treatment plan, not your anxiety. Together with your care team, you will create a care plan that helps you get to the root of your anxiety and understand your triggers and how to cope and overcome them. Combining group therapy with one-on-one therapy allows you to find support from your peers as well as focus your attention on the underlying causes of your anxiety and the coexisting disorders like depression and stress.

We proudly offer alternative therapies like inner child work, EMDR, and aromatherapy that can help you overcome your anxious feelings and allow you to focus on your healing and those who love and support you. Stop letting anxiety control your life. Call or click to connect with the most trusted Charlotte mental health services!

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