A lot of people find it hard to adapt to life after amputation, especially if their mental health is not stable enough to cope up with the scenario. However, many people intentionally and unintentionally try to cope with the anxiety that they are facing. Here are some coping styles that you could be familiar with if you have an amputee friend or family member.
Different Coping Styles
When a person is idle, there is always time for him to think about impending loss. Here’s how an amputee can cope up with his mental health:
It often manifests in being hesitant while answering or discussing the procedure involving amputation. Very few amputees are in denial about their physical impairment. A severe degree of denial could lead to serious issues. For instance, if an amputee is totally disconnected from reality, it is a case of underlying psychosis.
Many amputees express the rage and it is usually directed towards their medical team. They think as if the doctors are tricking them or cheating them to go for amputation.
The sense of feeling helpless might alter into depression.
Acceptance could not be retrieved by a patient unless he goes into rehabilitation.
Stages of Adaption
Adaption is divided into 4 stages. They are:
There are many amputees who have the opportunity to be prepared for amputation surgery. They could welcome the new phase of their lives with big arms and simultaneously accept that it is the end of suffering. Along with acceptance, depression and anxiety are major concerns in this stage.
Patients could deal with a practical issue such as perception, no sexual intimacy, pain, loss of relationships, loss of income, bad body image, loss of function and etc.
The other concern is the symbolic concern such as limb disposal, physical appearance, immobility and etc.
Immediate Post-Operative Stage
This stage might last from days to a month. Its period varies from amputee to amputee. Usually, the factors that it depends on are the residual limb’s condition and the reason for amputation surgery.
Some major psychological concerns at this stage are loss of orientation, loss of alertness, after-surgery complications, pain, fear, and safety issues.
This is the most critical phase of an amputee, his family and the medical team assisting him. At first, the patient has a fear of complications and becomes very concerned about safety. After that, the emphasis on safety and fear shifts to vocational adjustment and social reintegration. In this phase, a lot of amputees show denial in the form of competition with other amputees in the rehabilitation center.
In this stage, the sense of loss becomes fully evident. A number of amputees feel guilty and do not want to play the role of a sick in their house. While some amputees receive a lot of support from their families, others get their suggestions or opinions rejects because of impairment.
The main concern in this stage for an amputee is to move on to his normal life where he could be accepted socially and earn something for himself.