Where life seemed stable and predictable before the trauma, changes
have taken place, sometimes dramatically, sometimes forever. Career
paths, emotional well-being, financial stability, family roles may all
change. There may be stress and confusion where families try to process
new information (particularly medical and technical terms). It is
important to feel free to ask for explanations, even if you ask the same
question many times. Health professionals understand that it is
difficult to take in new information when under stress.
While family and friends will differ in their responses to the
trauma survivor, many find it difficult to treat the patient "normally".
They may hide their true feelings in an effort to distance themselves
from distress or to spare the patient. Families may also cover up
negative feelings which they may see as potentially harmful to the
patients (eg anger, blame). It is, however, important for communication
to remain open and for deception to be avoided even if it initially
appears to protect the patient.
Recovery from Traumatic Injury
Serious injury is a complex phenomenon and in the early stages of
treatment and recovery the patient is often in an emotional and
behavioral fog induced by pain, medication and unfamiliarity with the
These are some ideas that may help: