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Facial Disfigurement and Depression


More Than A Physical Injury

A facial injury is a big enough challenge on a purely physical level - the pain, reduced function, and sometimes multiple reparative surgeries necessary are daunting challenges in and of themselves. But when you add the understandable psychological distress to these physical challenges, recovery from a facial disfigurement can seem almost hopelessly difficult.

What Can Help

Understanding the emotions that follow a facial disfigurement will help patients cope with them more effectively. It can also be useful to know that it may be possible to win financial restitution to help with the costs of needed medical and psychological treatment.

Emotional Response

A facial disfigurement may result from many causes - a car crash, a workplace accident, or even surgical errors. But no matter what kind of injury causes a facial disfigurement, the results are often the same. Frequently, a person who has experienced a facial injury may suffer a range of emotions, from anxiety, to depression, to hostility. This sudden, life-changing injury may leave the sufferer feeling blindsided, or in shock. It may take some time for him or her to process what has happened, to work through their emotions, and to come to terms with the new reality. He or she may feel anger, if they perceive someone to have caused the injury. Some have even likened these emotions to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Another common response to a facial injury is to become withdrawn from social situations for fear of being ridiculed or shunned. Jobs that require a certain appearance, or capabilities, such as normal vision or speech, could now become impossible to adequately fill. This, in turn, has the potential to cause the injured party to spiral into depression, and to withdraw even further from society, which may increase the possibility of depression, or even suicide.

Seek Counseling

Due to these sometimes extreme emotional responses, it is advisable that a person with a facial disfigurement seek psychological counseling as well as medical help, since the physical treatment of a facial injury is only one aspect of the challenge a sufferer must address. It's also important that friends and family make it known that they are there to help. If someone you love is suffering without counseling, making the suggestion to see someone may prevent further pain.

Medical Treatment Costs

Unfortunately, some people with facial injuries are unable to afford the costs of all the medical treatments and counseling that they should receive for the best possible recovery. And a person who has sustained a life-changing injury, especially one that was due to the fault or negligence of another, should not have to worry about footing the bill, as well as shouldering the weight of medical treatment and emotional distress.

Consulting with a Brooklyn lawyer could be helpful in determining if financial restitution is possible.

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