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Archive for the ‘Post-Traumatic Stress’ Category

Treatments for Work-Related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

January 28th, 2021 at 10:03 am

IL workers comp lawyer, IL PTSD attorney Certain jobs can carry significant risks compared to other occupations. For example, police officers, firefighters, and paramedics can be exposed to dangerous conditions on a regular basis. Much of their work involves dealing with extreme situations, such as a car accident, explosion, or othe types of catastrophic events. While performing the duties of their jobs, these workers can sustain physical injuries such as gunshot wounds, burns, or broken bones. In addition, they can suffer mental and emotional scars, too. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that is triggered by experiencing or witnessing a frightening event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and anxiety, and more. Filing a workers’ compensation claim may alleviate some of the financial hardship if a person is unable to work because of work-related post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mental Health Rehabilitation

Although any traumatic event can trigger feelings of anxiety, fear, or depression, many times these symptoms go away after a period of time. However, when they last a long time and hinder someone from performing their job or normal activities, he or she may be diagnosed with PTSD. Obtaining the appropriate treatment after PTSD symptoms surface can be crucial to reduce the severity of them and any long-lasting effects on a person’s mental state. The goal is to change any disruptive thought patterns. This might occur through talking about the trauma or concentrating on where the fears actually come from.

Some of the common way to treat PTSD patients include the following cognitive-behavioral therapies:

  • Group, family, or individual therapy: Talking one-on-one with a professional such as a psychiatrist or psychologist who is a neutral party can help deal with your emotions.
  • Cognitive processing therapy: Talking about the traumatic event with a therapist and writing down details about the incident can help the victim process what happened.
  • Prolonged exposure therapy: Learning breathing techniques to alleviate anxiety, and confronting things you may have been avoiding.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing: Concentrating on movement made by a therapist such as a hand waving, flashing a light, or a sound while thinking about something positive while you remember your trauma.
  • Stress inoculation training: Focusing on changing how to deal with the stress from the event, including massage and breathing techniques and other ways to stop negative thoughts through relaxation.

Under the Illinois workers compensation law, any disability caused by PTSD that is work-related should be covered by workers’ compensation benefits. However, workers’ comp insurance companies often deny claims for PTSD. That is why you need an experienced attorney to fight for your rights so you can receive the compensation you need and deserve in order to recover and move on with your life.

Call an Illinois Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Injuries from a work accident can include post-traumatic stress disorder, which can impact a person’s ability to function and return to work. If you or your loved one is suffering from PTSD, it is important to seek medical attention for this debilitating condition. In addition, you may be wondering what your options are regarding compensation. A qualified Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer at the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio can help you. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that a workplace injury can have on an employee as well as his or her family. Call us today at 630-574-2288 to request a free consultation and learn more.

 

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20355967

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/what-are-treatments-for-posttraumatic-stress-disorder#1

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=082003050K8

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/iwcc/about/Pages/insurance.aspx

 

Research Points to Effective Treatment for First Responder PTSD

August 31st, 2020 at 11:56 am

IL workers comp lawyer, IL PTSD attorney, First responders, including police officers, EMTs, and firefighters, experience dangerous, stressful, and traumatic situations on a regular basis during the course of their work, and psychiatric research shows that this comes with a greater risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In fact, some studies indicate a PTSD prevalence of around 30 percent for first responders compared to a rate closer to 10 percent for the general population. Many first responders require mental health treatment for their PTSD, which can often be covered through workers’ compensation benefits.

A Four-Phase Treatment Process for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

In a 2018 study published in the Harvard Review of Psychiatry, researchers examined the effectiveness of a four-phase program for treating PTSD for first responders. The phases are:

  1. Diagnostic assessment: In this phase, mental health professionals seek to understand a patient’s symptoms including nightmares, flashbacks, substance abuse, and trouble sleeping, as well as the patient’s history, concurrent medical conditions, and ability to function. This allows for the development of a treatment plan tailored to the patient’s needs.
  2. Symptom stabilization and skills training: This phase can include inpatient care for patients at risk for self-harm, as well as training in self-care, safety planning, distress tolerance, resilience, and emotional regulation, which can help patients manage the symptoms of PTSD.
  3. Trauma-focused processing: In this phase, patients undergo treatments including cognitive processing therapy and prolonged exposure, which help them manage their reactions to stimuli associated with their traumatic experiences.
  4. Consolidation and aftercare: In this phase, patients focus on self-assessment and maintenance of their progress, as well as the management of new stressors in their work and the rebuilding of social and work relationships.

The researchers concluded that treatment throughout these phases often leads to positive strides for patients, but that the treatment of PTSD can be an ongoing process that requires long-term maintenance, and sometimes a return to an earlier phase.

Pursuing Compensation for PTSD Treatment

If you are a first responder coping with PTSD, you may find it reassuring to know that treatment is available. However, it is also important to ensure that you can cover the expenses of your treatment through workers’ compensation. An attorney can work with you to obtain testimony from mental health professionals, family members, and friends who can attest to the impact of PTSD on your life and your need for treatment so that you can present a strong case for the full amount you need.

Contact a Cook County Workers’ Compensation Attorney

At the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio, we know how much first responders give of themselves in service to their communities, and we want to help you get the treatment you need to maintain a high quality of life and continue performing your job to the best of your ability. Contact a Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer today at 630-574-2288 to request a free consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6624844/#:~:text=EMDR%20has%20been%20studied%20as,with%20the%20first%2Dresponder%20population.

Mental Health And Workers’ Compensation for First Responders

January 15th, 2019 at 12:26 pm

Chicago PTSD workers' compensation lawyerPost-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is often associated with soldiers returning from war, but it is also something that first responders can develop due to traumatic experiences at work. First responders are a broad category of people who work as firefighters, paramedics, police officers, and similar professions. With these jobs, workers are exposed to high levels of stress and trauma that most people are not accustomed to. In some cases, they may not have been personally affected by trauma, but are present for disturbing events, and this can have negative effects on their emotional health, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

After a person has witnessed or experienced a traumatic event, they may develop a mental health condition in which they struggle to deal with the emotional trauma that is affecting them. Those who suffer from PTSD often experience nightmares, anxiety, and flashbacks to the event. Immediately after a traumatic experience, people may have a hard time adjusting to their regular life, but the onset of PTSD can happen at any time after the incident.

Although first responders’ work can take a mental toll, they may also experience physical harm such as broken bones, burns, gunshot wounds, sprains, and joint injuries. These injuries can also lead to PTSD, and workers’ compensation may be needed for mental health treatment in addition to the treatment for physical injuries.

How to Identify Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Unlike a physical wound, mental health disorders are not always obvious. Sometimes, it takes a loved one to realize something is wrong. Being mindful of your mental health as a first responder may help you realize that you are suffering because of a traumatic experience.

Additional symptoms of PTSD include avoidance, detachment, depression, irritability, guilt, self-destructive actions, and insomnia. However, the symptoms can vary wildly for people diagnosed with PTSD, so it is important to be aware of any emotional issues you may be experiencing.

Getting Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation should cover the costs of treatment for PTSD related to experiences which occurred while on the job. For example, an Illinois firefighter received workers’ compensation benefits after developing PTSD following the death of another firefighter. Although the plaintiff was not in the dangerous house, it was ruled that he did not need to be among the flames to be disturbed by the death of one of his own.

Getting compensated for job-related mental health disorders is often less straightforward than a physical injury. When it comes to certain jobs, it could be argued that experiencing trauma is something a person voluntarily signed up for. However, mental health disorders can affect one’s ability to work safely in stressful conditions, and workers should not only receive the treatment they need, but they should have that treatment covered by worker’s comp benefits.

Contact a Cook County Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Mental health is an essential part of your well-being, and when that is disturbed due to a traumatic event at work, you deserve to be compensated. Get in touch with an experienced Chicago workers’ comp lawyer who will advocate on your behalf to help you receive the benefits you deserve. Call our office at 630-574-2288 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.alcohol.org/professions/first-responders/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20355967

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