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Home » Health Professionals » Psychological Injury » Secondary Psychological Problems

Secondary Psychological Problems



Psychological problems may occur in conjunction with, or as a consequence of physical injuries. Injuries caused by violence or some other traumatic event may result in the injured worker experiencing post-traumatic stress type difficulties. Workers who experience severe injury or injuries that do not resolve with time or treatment often go on to develop significant psychological problems. Difficulties with pain management and adjustment to the implications of long-term injury are caused or exacerbated by changes in life circumstances resulting from injury. Some of the changes in circumstances frequently experienced by the injured worker with a chronic injury include:


  • Loss of income
  • Difficulty maintaining employment
  • Loss of employment
  • Difficulty coming to term with the effect injury has on their life – can’t do what they used to around the house, carry out hobbies and interests, impaired sex life
  • Outdated belief systems about themselves and situation in context of changes in their life situation as a result of injury
  • Uncertainty about the future
  • Changed family dynamics



Sometimes the psychological difficulties are of a nature and level of severity that they can easily be categorised into one of the DSM-IV classifications. Frequently, however, individuals who are having difficulty managing the change of circumstances in their life may not readily fit into one of the DSM-IV labels either because of the rigid system of categorisation or the severity of their problem coping.


For more information on secondary psychological problems on the website you can also review:


  • Overview of most common psychological injuries experienced by injured workers
  • Pain management and injury adjustment interventions

Psychological Injuries Topics

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