The Stress of North Carolina Workers’ Compensation on Your Relationships

May 14, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

Most outsiders who think about North Carolina workers’ compensation questions focus on the obvious stuff: The struggles with insurance companies and uncooperative bosses; the bureaucracy; the financial concerns; the medical, surgical, and rehab-related problems, etc.

But let’s not forget that the worker’s comp experience is not just a financial or medical one – it’s an emotional one as well. In particular, beneficiaries often experience significant challenges in their relationships – both relationships with themselves and with the close family and friends.

Many changes at once

Consider how much has changed in your life since you got hurt or sick at work:

•    You no longer have a steady stream of income.
•    Whether or not you will even get to collect workers’ comp benefits may be in doubt.
•    You may find yourself in a new, adversarial position with your employer or co-workers.
•    You may have to confront the headache of dealing with an insurance company.
•    You may be scared about your medical prognosis or path to recovery.
•    All of these stresses may have compounded other problems that existed before the injury/illness.

Even if you manage to “keep it all together” psychologically – keep a positive attitude, etc. – other people are bound to perceive you differently. And almost everyone needs a little extra support – emotionally, financially, and otherwise – after they have been seriously hurt or thrown off their career game. So you’ve become more needy, and your new status has changed the dynamics of all of your relationships. For instance, you may no longer be able to lift your kid out of the bath like you used to, and now you need help doing that. That changes your relationship with your child, changes your relationship with your spouse, and changes your perception of your ability as a parent.

Multiply that shift times a thousand, and you can begin to understand why the whole workers’ comp journey is such a challenge to so many relationships.

Being open, getting help, and listening to your feelings and needs

It’s important not to live in denial. Accept the reality of your situation, and you can start to take positive action to make progress. Be compassionate with yourself – and with the people around you. You are all going through lots of big changes, all at once, and they are surprising, and they have the potential to throw you off balance. Give yourself permission to feel a little bit out of control, and work toward regaining control in your life, rebuilding damaged relationships, and finding resources. A North Carolina workers’ compensation law firm, like DeMayo Law, can help you navigate the potentially rough legal waters ahead.

More Web Resources:

How change affects relationships

Being compassionate with yourself