Coping and Adjustment to Spinal Cord Injury
It takes a while to deal with the feelings and changes that happen as a result of spinal cord injury. Sometimes you may feel sad, angry, confused, scared, lonely or even out of control. You may have more than one feeling at the same time. Your feelings will vary during the course of a day or from one day to the next.
Families and friends have many of the same feelings as the person who is injured. They too may feel shock, anger, hope, sadness, fear and anxiety. Sometimes the whole spinal cord injury situation may feel "unreal" or like a "dream." This feeling is normal.
Relationships with family and friends may feel strained or different. Your spinal cord injury affects you as well as those to whom you are close. Everyone copes differently with their feelings and their concerns. This is normal. The key is to talk openly and honestly with each other.
There are no right or wrong feelings but it still may be difficult for your family and friends to share their feelings with you. They might think they shouldn't bother you with their feelings or that their feelings might be depressing to you. You can let them know it is ok to talk to you.
Since spinal cord injury (whether it is a complete or incomplete injury) is a permanent condition, it takes at least a year to make adjustments emotionally and physically. There may be changes within family roles as well as general coping.
You may also discover strengths you did not know that you had. You may feel confident as you learn new skills and abilities and develop new interests.
The lessons in this module will review material about coping and adjustment.