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Archive for the ‘ptsd’ tag

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.

Workers’ Compensation for Mental Illness

October 14th, 2019 at 7:23 pm

mental-illnessIt is recommended to get a physical once a year for healthy adults, but how many times do we check in on our mental health? Mental illnesses can run in the family, but the trauma and stress can also cause mental problems. When we think about cases where workers’ compensation is received, we think of catastrophic physical injuries. However, if a mental condition is developed because of work conditions, it is eligible for workers’ compensation like any other injury or illness.

The difficult part about mental illness and workers’ compensation is proving the illness is work-related. Compensation is much less up to interpretation when someone loses a limb or has otherwise physical markings. It is easy for an insurance company to claim that mental illness has been pre-existing before claimed and that work conditions have nothing to do with it. This is why, like any other work caused illness or injury, it is important to seek medical care right away. If an employee has experienced something traumatic at work, a licensed professional will be able to diagnose the problem and relate it to the workers’ compensation claim.

Mental illness can affect a person’s ability to work. Illnesses that may be covered by workers’ compensation include anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These can either be developed on their own due to witnesses a traumatic event or develop alongside a physical injury caused by an accident. For example, if someone watches their co-workers die during a construction accident, they may be eligible for workers’ compensation if they develop PTSD because of that specific traumatic event. If another worker is injured, and cannot immediately return to work, they may develop anxiety after the accident, and workers’ compensation can be extended to cover the mental illness.

Developing a mental illness from a non-emergency situation will not likely result in being qualified for workers’ compensation benefits. Having a verbally abusive employer can cause anxiety or depression, but unless the disorder can be pinpointed to a time where the employee feared for their life, they are not eligible for compensation.

Contact a Cook County Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Proving that mental illness was developed from trauma experienced at work is an uphill battle. For the best chance of receiving compensation for work-related mental illness, contact an experienced Illinois workers’ compensation attorney. Contact us at 630-574-2288 to arrange a free consultation today.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2430&ChapterID=68

https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/depression

 

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