Work accidents can cause significant trauma to both the body and the mind. Different ailments have the ability to act upon one another, such as a physical injury making an emotional struggle worse and vice versa. This happens so often that it's become a recognized medical condition known as a psychosomatic injury.
Common Causes of Psychosomatic Work Injuries
Any injury that affects both the mind and body can be treated as a psychosomatic disorder. Typically, the injuries are so intertwined that one can aggravate and act upon the other. Treatments for these conditions are often difficult, as extensive physical rehabilitation can lead to fatigue, making mental symptoms worse.
Employees may suffer psychosomatic injuries due to:
- Physical conditions. People coping with surgical recovery, scarring, rehabilitation, or recurring conditions may develop depression or anxiety as side effects of their injuries. Patients lose money with every passing day that they are out of work, and often worry about whether they'll be able to make a living or support their families after they've recovered. Another example: an outbreak of psoriasis on the hands or face can make some patients withdraw or miss work due to feelings of shame or a lack of self-confidence.
- Mental state. The mental and emotional pressures of a job can result in physical symptoms. The daily stress and anxiety placed on a worker can cause ulcers, cramps, skin rashes, headaches, high blood pressure and panic attacks. In many cases, the severity of physical symptoms is directly related to a person’s stress level.
- Unexplained symptoms. Psychosomatic disorders can also occur if a person experiences physical symptoms but no underlying cause can be found. Physical symptoms often include increased heart rate, extreme nausea, insomnia, sweating, headaches, and chest pain—most commonly as a result of anxiety.
To make matters worse, psychosomatic disorders are usually not recognized injuries covered by workers’ compensation unless they're the result of an underlying physical injury. Our workers' compensation attorneys can help you prove your condition is related to your working conditions, getting you the payment you deserve. Call us today or fill out the form on this page to find out what your next steps should be.