PTSD, depression and spinal cord injury: a topic not getting enough attention


Learning that you are paralyzed is devastating and overwhelming news. Depression can be common for individuals living with paralysis and there is of course an adjustment period as you navigate your new normal. A survey in the American Psychological Association Journal showed that nearly 25% of people with spinal cord injury get PTSD.

The Christopher Reeve Foundation provides some good resources on this topic worthy of reading. On their web site, they’ve developed a section on How do I deal with depression and adjustment to my SCI?

Additionally, Psychologist Dr. Dan Gottlieb has blogged about Addressing PTSD extensively and he’d know a thing or two about the effect of PTSD on individuals with a spinal cord injury since he sustained one of his own in 1979, leaving him a quadriplegic.

The best way to combat your feelings of helplessness and confusion is to arm yourself with information on what a spinal cord injury is, and what it means in terms of short-term planning and long-range goals.