Medical negligence can have a profound impact on your mental well-being and mental health. Not only have you suffered from negligence, but you could have lost trust in the healthcare system, making it harder to recover and seek medical advice going forward. Medical negligence can cause feelings of confusion, anger, resentment, and even anxiety and depression.
Coming to terms with these emotions is a challenge, but to move forward you must address your well-being. Below we look at the importance of looking after your well-being if you’ve suffered from medical negligence, and the next steps you can take to regain control of your life.
Acknowledge How You Feel
One of the biggest impacts of medical negligence is how it has made you feel. Those who have been on the receiving end of medical negligence must acknowledge their emotions. With so much else going on at the same time, we may neglect our feelings. It is very normal for you to feel upset, hurt, or even betrayed after the incident.
Suppressing or denying these emotions will only make it harder for you later down the line, and doing so could cause anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Allow yourself to feel what you feel, and do not be ashamed of feeling upset or hurt. This situation can be very distressing for anybody, especially if you have been misdiagnosed or injured at the hands of a medical professional.
When dealing with medical negligence, it’s important to have a good support network around you. This can include family, friends, your partner, or even a support group. Talking about the incident can help you to come to terms with it and truly understand what happened. This also makes it easier for those around you to understand how they can help.
You may also find it useful to speak to a therapist, as medical negligence can have an impact on your whole life. It may mean that you were misdiagnosed and now have fewer treatment options available, or you may have lost a loved one due to medical negligence. Whatever the reason for how you’re feeling, talking it out in a safe space can help you deal with any lingering trauma around the subject.
Seeking support groups in your area may also be useful. These groups allow individuals from all walks of life to connect through shared experiences. No matter how much our friends and family want to be there for us, sometimes we just want to discuss our experiences with someone who truly understands what it’s like to go through a medical negligence claim.
A person who has been impacted by medical negligence should focus on self-care. When dealing with the physical impacts of medical negligence, it can be difficult to focus on what you need emotionally. It can also be a distressing time if medical negligence has caused you to lose out on income, not be able to work, or not be able to go home and care for your family or young children.
You may be stuck in a hospital for longer than originally planned, which can cause stress upon stress. No matter what your situation, prioritise self-care. Worrying won’t make the situation better; instead, focus on yourself and speak to a legal professional who can help. Self-care is different for everyone, but you may want to start a new hobby, finish that e-book you’ve had downloaded for months, meditate, or catch up on your favourite Netflix drama.
Although stress often leads us to unhealthy habits, try to maintain a good routine. Try to get enough sleep, avoid excessive alcohol consumption, and maintain a healthy diet. Taking care of your physical health is just another way to combat the feelings of stress after being impacted by medical negligence.
Seek Professional Legal Advice
An important step in looking after your well-being if you’ve suffered from medical negligence is to seek professional legal advice. Speaking to a medical negligence lawyer about compensation claims can help put your mind at ease, as you can recover the costs of unexpected medical bills, loss of income, and therapy sessions. Whilst legal action can be an emotional process, it can help provide justice and closure for the incident.
Although money cannot fix everything, it can help soften the blow of what you and your family have had to deal with. If the injuries caused by medical negligence are life-changing, the compensation gained from a medical malpractice lawsuit could help you to rebuild your life, adapt your home, and give you time to heal both physically and emotionally.
Maintain a Positive Outlook
Coping with medical negligence takes time and a positive outlook. There may be hard days, but allowing yourself to feel like a victim forever will never allow you to move forward with your life. This is why speaking to a therapist if you are dealing with increasingly difficult emotions is an essential part of the healing process. How we think determines how we feel, so shifting your mindset to a more positive one can lead to a more optimistic outlook on your situation.
One way to maintain a positive outlook is to stop retelling the story, as retelling the trauma over and over again will only make you relive it. Instead, look towards the future and how you can move forward with your life. Maybe this is the perfect time to start on that book you’ve always wanted to write, or to start a daily yoga practice at home. Spend your time on positive things, like spending time with the ones you love.
Dealing with the emotional impact of medical negligence is a challenge. To move forward, it is essential that you acknowledge how you feel, seek support from friends, family, and therapy, practice self-care, gain legal advice, and maintain a positive outlook. Remember, seeking help is not a sign of weakness and you have the right to gain compensation if the negligence of a medical professional has severely impacted your life.