How to Manage your Mental Health when Faced with a Spinal Injury

How to Manage your Mental Health when Faced with a Spinal Injury Harmony Healthcare January 25, 2022

How to Manage your Mental Health when Faced with a Spinal Injury

A spinal cord injury can occur for many reasons and often happen quite unexpectedly

For instance, in most cases a spinal injury occurs following a car accident or a significant fall. In some cases, it is the consequence of a fight or sports-related injury. The severity of a spinal injury can be wide ranging, with some experiencing minor issues and others, much more severe. It is not just the physical side of a spinal injury that needs to be taken into account, it is also the psychological effects. If these are not managed properly, the individual with the spinal injury may reduce their chance of recovering from the injury and their rehabilitation might be severely affected.

As such, it is vital that the psychological effects are not only take into account but also carefully assessed. A spinal injury can cause life changing damaging and it is important to understand the effects of this to ensure the right level of treatment is available to the individual dealing with a spinal injury.

What causes psychological effects?

The first thing to take into account when managing mental health after a spinal injury is to understand why this happens. There are various elements that can have a negative effect on the mental health of someone suffering with a spinal injury. The individual may be receiving medications that are affecting the normal brain function, and they could even become addicted to the medication. It is usually the case that the person suffering from a spinal injury is not as active as they once were, and this can also have an effect on their diet. A poor diet can lead to low energy and low moods. Many people also turn to substances to deal with their pain, both physically and mentally. In some cases, poor mental health may be caused by using alcohol, or other drugs to try and deal with the pain. It may help ease the situation for a while, but the effects are only ever temporary and can make the feelings worse in the long run.

In many cases, sleep deprivation can be a problem for sufferers of spinal injuries. Lack of sleep can lead to low moods, and even depression. This can have a major effect on a person’s ability to handle their day and the condition. Psychological effects could also be caused by feeling alone, which tends to be common for people suffering from serious conditions, especially if they are living alone. Dark thoughts are often associated with the feelings of isolation and loneliness.

There are different types of mental health problems you may face when dealing with the psychological impact of a spinal injury. These are some of the most common issues individuals face in their mental health.

Anxiety and Stress

The side effects of anxiety and stress are wide ranging, and include worry/fear and even panic attacks, which can cause difficulty with breathing and a pounding heart. Anxiety and stress are fairly common feelings for someone dealing with a chronic condition, and if you are feeling this way, you are not alone. In some cases, individuals dealing with anxiety and stress will retract from society, and completely withdraw socially. This can exacerbate the injury and make recovery much more difficult.


Depression is also common after a spinal cord injury and this can have various side effects, including oversleeping or failing to get enough sleep, a lack of interest in activities you would have previously enjoyed and little motivation. In some cases, individuals suffering from depression will feel hopeless, and may even consider suicide or self-harm. Not everyone with a spinal injury will suffer from depression, but it is a side effect of dealing with such a condition, and the effects it has on day-to-day life.


Individuals with spinal injuries may also find that they suffer from fatigue, meaning they have a lack of motivation, and feel constantly tired regardless of the amount of sleep they get. They have low motivation and are unable to enjoy tasks that they would usually take for granted, even the simplest of tasks may seem like an uphill struggle.

What we do to help you deal with mental health issues due to spinal injury?

At Harmony Healthcare, we are committed to helping you live a fulfilling, independent life, and we can provide you with nurse-led quality care, designed to support you and meet your individual care needs. Our carers are trained in dealing with and supporting those with emotional problems associated with their spinal injury and we will do our best to ensure your mental health is not adversely affected, as a consequence of your injury. These are some of the ways our carers will support you.

Administering medication

We will ensure you are receiving the right kind of medication at the right time. This includes medication for mental health to ensure your neurotransmitter levels are regulated. Our carers receive clinical training {link to clinical training} to ensure that you always receive the relevant medication, on a daily basis. Our care services are completely flexible, but we will always ensure that you are prepared with the right level of medication.

Healthy meals

Our carers prepare healthy meals for you, and also offer a feeding service, if required. The wrong diet can have negative effects on your mental health, and it is our priority to ensure that you receive the right nutrition, including plenty of whole grains, fruit and vegetable. There is greater risk of depression associated with a poor diet, and we will always ensure you get the vitamins and nutrients you need.


Mental health can also be seriously affected by a lack of exercise. Even if it’s just a daily walk, our carers will ensure you get out and get the exercise you need. If you have a specific exercise plan to follow to improve your condition, our carers will ensure you complete this every day. It can be easy to forget to do your exercises, and this could seriously compromise your recovery and/or pain relief.

Enjoyable activities

Although you are suffering from the effects of a spinal injury, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be doing the activities you enjoy the most. Whether it is having friends and family over to your home or getting out and about, our carers will help organise these activities for you, and provide the care you need. It is vital for your mental health that you keep doing the activities you enjoy, especially when it means spending time with friends and family. Spending time with friends and family is the best way to enhance your mood, when you are facing difficulties.

Emotional support

Our carers are trained in providing emotional support to our clients when they need it. If you feel that you are suffering from low moods, we are happy to provide emotional support to you. This can be important for your recovery. If you are looking for support with your psychological needs, our carers will be happy to provide this for you. You can contact us {link to contact us} at any time, night or day to discuss your needs and how we may be able to help you. We are committed to taking care of your wellbeing, and we offer a care service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to suit your needs.
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