A work accident can be quite traumatic for a maritime worker. Physical injuries may be accompanied by emotional and psychological complications, including anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Below are five steps you can take to help protect your husband’s mental and emotional well-being after a serious maritime accident.
1. Recognize the Signs of Mental Illness
Understanding the early warning signs that your husband is depressed, has PTSD or is suffering other mental illness may allow you to secure necessary treatment for such conditions. Below are some of the early warning signs and common indicators of mental illness:
It is not unusual for an injury victim to experience feelings of sadness or anger after a traumatic event. However, major changes in personality, such as those outlined above, are cause for professional intervention.
2. Encourage Him to Consult a Specialist
Use positive language to encourage your spouse to seek specialized treatment from a therapist or trauma counselor. You may even offer to attend sessions as a couple or family, depending on your husband’s recommended course of treatment. Show that you can listen – without judgment – to your partner’s needs, and ask him regularly what you can do to help improve the situation. This can also help you better deal with a spouse who is depressed or suffering other mental disorders.
3. Take Care of Yourself As Well
In airline safety demonstrations, flight attendants instruct passengers to affix their own oxygen masks first before assisting others. The same principle applies here: You cannot adequately help your husband if you do not take care of yourself.
Develop and maintain a support system of friends and family members. Have at least one or two trusted resources in whom you can confide. Maintain healthy exercise, eating and sleeping habits. Stay engaged in your favorite activities, even if you cannot commit as much time as you once did.
4. Help Him Find a Local Support Group
Research local support groups for injury and/or accident survivors. These may be offered through a hospital, church, nonprofit or work organization. Your husband may find relief by talking about his situation and anxieties with a group of survivors who have coped with similar circumstances and losses.
5. Ensure He is Getting the Legal Assistance He Deserves
Your husband is entitled to certain benefits as a maritime accident survivor. An attorney can work with your family to safeguard your husband’s rights and ensure he receives his due compensation in a Jones Act or maritime injury claim. This may include money to pay for regular counseling and therapy sessions.
Enlisting a professional also may work to relieve some anxiety and stress associated with his injury. Your attorney can handle the paperwork, deadlines and evidence necessary to build and pursue a claim while your husband focuses on recovery.
You may contact The Young Firm to schedule a free case evaluation at your convenience. Call (866) 703-2520 or simply fill out our contact form.