To lose a limb after a catastrophic accident completely uproots you and alters your life. Most people cannot prepare for limb loss or expect that the mental side effects will not happen to them.
According to Sage Journals, patients often experience difficult emotions following an amputation.
The social impact of limb loss
Losing a limb can change how you see yourself in the mirror and how you see yourself in your social groups. Suddenly, you may have more dependence on family members or friends. The realization that your life has to change with the amputation could result in withdrawing from the people you need the most. Patients often see themselves as a burden to their families and communities.
Dealing with the public can also cause a lot of embarrassment and alienation. Some people may react to amputation with pity, which can harm your mental health. You may fear how you can no longer perform the same activities you used to, including your work.
The mental health impact of limb loss
One of the most common emotional responses to limb loss is anger. While you may experience grief for your loss, it can also feel infuriating and unfair. Patients have difficulty with anxiety after the traumatic injury and operation. Your mental health may feel like a spiral quickly becoming out of control. It is normal to become introverted or alienate yourself from friends and family.
While mental health’s outlook may seem bleak, it is not unmanageable. Most people succeed when working with a professional that allows them to speak out about their feelings. Mental health support can give you the coping skills to handle the loss and build your new life.