The Emotional Effects of Burn Injuries
By Steven M. Sweat, Attorney, Los Angeles.
According to the American Burn Association (ABA), nearly 500,000 people in the U.S. received some type of medical care for burns in 2014 and approximately 40,000 sustained serious enough injuries to require extended stays in hospitals or burn centers. Though the large majority of burn victims do survive due to improvements in burn treatment, they face a long recovery journey that can include painful surgeries and skin grafts and often still result in permanent scarring or disfigurement.
Because of the extreme pain from serious burns and the changes in physical appearance, it is only natural that many burn victims also require treatment for psychological and emotional injuries, as well.
Emotional distress can occur for a variety of reasons
There are many potential causes of emotional distress and psychological conditions in burn victims and the specific types of injuries will vary widely from patient to patient. The following are only some examples of causes of this type of injury:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or related reactions to the trauma event itself
- Constant and severe physical pain
- Developing dependency on medications such as painkillers or sleep aids
- Relentless itching during the healing process
- Lack of acceptance of changes in physical appearance
- Social, professional, physical, and personal challenges
- Requiring constant care
- Facing the financial challenges of treatment
Burn victims with emotional injuries may require many different types of treatment, depending on the nature and cause of their injuries. Many victims require long-term therapy to learn coping mechanisms, stress management, and improve social interactions. Group therapy with other burn survivors can also be very helpful. In many situations, medication is necessary to treat depression or anxiety. Though the type of treatment for emotional injuries may vary, all of these courses of treatment will only add to the financial burden of burn recovery.
Discuss your case with a burn injury attorney in Los Angeles today
If your burn injury occurred because someone else acted in a negligent manner, you have the legal right to recover for all of your losses related to your injuries—whether physical, psychological, or emotional. Discuss your legal rights and options with an experienced victim's lawyer as soon as possible.
Steven M. Sweat, APC
5757 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 450
Los Angeles, CA 90036