Major depression is one of the most common mental illnesses, impacting nearly 1 in 5 American adults each year. That’s more than 18% of the U.S. population. While certain factors increase the risk of developing depression, depression after a workplace injury or a car accident, is common.
Severe injuries impact mobility and the ability to perform everyday tasks- changing a person’s life forever. So, it may come as no surprise that those who are injured on the job or in a car accident become depressed.
Unfortunately, only about 35% of all adults dealing with depression in the U.S. are actually seeking treatment. During National Depression and Mental Health Screening month, we wanted to share some statistics on depression after a workplace injury, symptoms of depression, and why injury victims don’t have to suffer alone.
Many people don’t realize, but post-injury depression may be compensable as part of a workers’ compensation claim. Let’s dive into how that’s possible and why it could be a game changer for those suffering from depression.
Recognizing Symptoms of Depression
The first step in understanding whether someone is entitled to workers’ comp for depression, is to determine whether a physical injury caused the depression. If someone has experienced an injury on the job and are experiencing any of the following symptoms, there’s a good chance a doctor would diagnose them with depression.
When someone is depressed, often, these symptoms occur most of the day and nearly every day.
- Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
- Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
- Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports
- Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
- Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
- Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain
- Anxiety, agitation or restlessness
- Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame
- Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
- Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
- Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
For most people, symptoms of depression are severe enough that they impact day-to-day activities, such as work, school, social activities or relationships with others.
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Steps to Take to File for Workers’ Comp for Depression After a Workplace Injury
If you have any of the aforementioned symptoms, it’s important to contact your physician right away. They can help you understand your treatment options, or they can refer you to a healthcare provider who focuses solely on mental health.
If the doctor does not provide a referral, an insurance company should have a list of specialists to choose from. They can range from psychiatrists to psychologists to counselors.
After an accident on the job that leads to depression, it is important that everything is documented. The date of the injury, how the injury happened, the doctor’s report, medical bills, etc., will all be critical components in determining the success of a workers’ compensation claim for depression.
These types of claims can be incredibly difficult to navigate. It is critical to reach out to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to help the process along. Our workers’ comp attorneys at the law offices of Dale E. Anstine have helped countless injured workers get maximum compensation to help pay medical bills, treatment costs, and more.
What if You Suffered from Depression Before? Will You Qualify for Workers’ Comp?
Just because someone has suffered from depression before, it does not necessarily mean that a workers’ comp claim will be denied. If the workplace injury worsened the depression, there may be a case.
The critical component here is ensuring there is medical evidence supporting an argument that the workplace injury aggravated or worsened the pre-existing condition.
Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in York, Pa.
If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of depression after a workplace accident, reach out to our highly skilled legal team at Dale E. Anstine. Our top-rated workers’ comp attorneys have been protecting the rights of the injured in Central PA for over 40 years.
Your case, no matter how complicated, is in good hands with our workers’ compensation firm. Our attorneys are supported by an experienced team of paralegals, investigators, secretaries and other staff who will explore every aspect of your case, offering personal support throughout the process.
Injured and dealing with depression? Call us today at 717-846-0606 for a free consultation. We’re available 24/7.