This month is an excellent reminder that while we focus on our physical wellbeing, we can’t forget to take care of our mental health, whether we are an amputee or not.
However, losing a limb is a huge toll on our mental health, because it challenges us physically, emotionally, socially, spiritually, financially, and may temporarily alter one’s ability to think clearly. Obviously, emotional responses to amputation are different for each individual. It is common to feel a sense of grief and loss. How people respond to their amputation depends upon their unique make-up, such as personality, values, attitudes, previous life experiences, support systems including family, and the meaning they give to their amputations.
But emotional struggles are absolutely a normal part of any person’s life. The main thing is to realize that you don’t have to deal with them alone. Talk with family and friends, a counselor, or support group about your feelings. Finding others who have gone through a similar experience may help you realize what’s possible. Spiritual support may also help you, whether from church leaders, members, or just taking your own time to reflect.
If you feel signs of depression, such as lack of motivation, loss of interest in things you once cared about, or ongoing grief or sadness, talk to your therapist or counselor. The earlier you get help, the sooner you’ll feel better and can continue recovering, and enjoying life.
Loving yourself is the first step to emotional wellbeing. We all struggle, but we all also have something unique to add to this challenging yet incredible world.
Take care of yourself and your mental health.
Here’s a list of resources to help:
SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-8255
Depression Text Hotline – Text CONNECT to 741741