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How can you struggle with mental health after an injury at work?

On Behalf of | Dec 15, 2023 | Worker's Compensation

Workplace injuries not only cause physical pain but can also take a significant toll on mental health. The emotional aftermath of an injury can be overwhelming, often leaving individuals grappling with various challenges.

People should address both the physical and emotional aspects of recovery.

Uncertainty and anxiety

One issue individuals face after a workplace injury is uncertainty surrounding their future. The sudden shift from a routine, physically demanding job to potentially prolonged periods of rest can cause anxiety. Concerns about job security, financial stability, and the ability to resume regular activities can contribute to heightened stress levels.

Social isolation

Workplace injuries often lead to a sense of isolation, both physically and socially. Being away from friends and the work environment can result in feelings of detachment. The lack of daily interactions with coworkers may amplify feelings of loneliness and contribute to a sense of being out of the loop.

Identity crisis

For many, a sense of identity is closely tied to their profession. A workplace injury can disrupt this connection, leading to an identity crisis. Struggling to fulfill the role they once had at work, individuals may find it challenging to redefine themselves outside of their job.

Loss of control

The loss of physical capabilities and independence following a workplace injury can lead to a serious loss of control. Individuals may feel helpless in the face of their injuries, fostering a sense of powerlessness and despair about life in general.

Some may even suffer from depression during these feelings of despair. 14.8 million American adults struggled with a major depressive episode in just 2020 alone.


Societal beliefs around workplace injuries can contribute to a sense of stigma. Some individuals may internalize negative ideas about their worth, feeling a diminished sense of value due to their inability to perform like before. Overcoming these negative perceptions is important for mental health recovery.

Mental healing is often more complex than what people first assume. By recognizing and addressing these challenges, individuals can pave the way for a more sustainable recovery journey.  Also, if your physical work injury has lead to a mental injury in the form of stress, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc., you may have a claim for what is known in Wisconsin worker’s compensation parlance as a physical-mental injury which is every bit as compensable as a physical injury alone.  Be sure to seek mental health care immediately and consult an experienced Wisconsin worker’s compensation lawyer for guidance and advice.