LAW OFFICE MONAST
www.monastlaw.com | 614-334-4649 | 5000 Arlington Centre Blvd. Bldg 2, Suite 2117, Upper Arlington, OH 43220-2913
YOUR INJURY DOES NOT DEFINE YOU THE LINK BETWEEN DEPRESSION AND WORKERS’ COMP
During a recent sermon, my pastor cited a study conducted by global health- service company Cigna that examined loneliness among Americans. I checked out the report myself, and it turns out that many of us are suffering. A whopping 46 percent of Americans report sometimes or always feeling alone, and 27 percent say they rarely, if ever, feel understood by others. These are troubling — if perhaps unsurprising — statistics, as are many others in the report. What caught my eye most was a note toward the end of the article making an explicit link between feeling connected and the workplace. According to the data, those who say they work “just the right amount” are the group least likely to be lonely, while those who work less than they’d prefer are likely to feel more isolated. As a lawyer who’s been representing injured workers for over 30 years, this last bit of information doesn’t surprise me. For many of us, our work connects us to who we are. When a worker is forced from their job by circumstances out of their control, they’re cut off both from their primary source of income and the abundant personal connections that come with the workplace. It’s no wonder that many people feel isolated more after an injury than they have in their entire lives. My readers likely would be amazed to know how many calls we get from struggling clients who just need someone to talk to — someone who understands and empathizes with their situation. I have several clients who’ve faced this struggle recently. The wife of a longtime client, whose claim has been botched and neglected by the system, told me that her husband feels like a loser lately. For more than a year, his devastating injury has physically prevented him from doing much, including providing an income, and the couple had to file “For many of us, our work connects us to who we are. When a worker is forced from their job by circumstances out of their control, they’re cut off both from their primary source of income and the abundant personal connections that come with the workplace.”
for bankruptcy. It’s no wonder this client is feeling down.
It’s a pattern I see time and time again. But I have a message to all of my clients feeling the sting of loneliness or inadequacy in the face of injury or illness: No matter how bad it may seem, you are not alone in this . Please, contact Wilma, Todd, or me at the office if you’re feeling isolated. We’re not licensed
therapists, but we have decades of experience working with people in situations just like yours. We genuinely care about you and your family. Honestly, we receive frequent calls from clients who just need someone to vent to.
If we can’t help you, we will direct you to someone who can. We have numerous resources on file for our clients, from mental health professionals to support groups and everything between. The Ohio workers’ compensation system even provides benefits for treatment for depression, anxiety, and PTSD — just ask us how to tap into these resources. Your injury doesn’t define you, and it doesn’t make you a loser. Even as mental health comes to the forefront of the national conversation, many of us who struggle with isolation, depression, and anxiety still feel guilty and afraid of seeking help. I know as well as anyone how difficult that first step can be, but whatever you do, don’t suppress your feelings or pile guilt onto everything else. Call us, shoot us an email, or talk to a loved one. During a time when more of us than ever are feeling lonely, it’s vital to count on one another for support. You’ll feel better for doing so.
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