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Work injuries and stress management, part 1: recognizing symptoms

Having to deal with a work injury is stressful for anyone.

After all, it is only normal to be stressed when you have been hurt at work and find a flood of thoughts going through your mind. You may be asking yourself question like these:

• How badly am I hurt?
• When can I go back to work?
• How much will all of this cost - and who pays for it?

These are only some of the questions that may be occurring to you. And to some degree, such questions are unavoidably stressful for most people

In this two-part post, we will discuss the importance of stress management in workers' compensation cases.

As we noted a month ago, in our March 7 post, work itself tends to be stressful a lot of the time in our high-pressure culture, which puts such an emphasis on job performance.

It is a whole different level of stress, however, to find yourself injured on the job and uncertain how you will face the future.

That is why we are devoting this post to recognizing signs of stress and learning how to manage them better.

There are of course many different symptoms of stress and they can affect different people in different ways. But the symptoms of stress can still be considered in common categories.

More specifically, there are some symptoms that clearly affect the body, such as headaches or muscle plain. Other symptoms may be more emotional or intangible, such as depression, anxiety or lack of ability to focus.

To be sure, not all effects of stress are easy to categorize, either. A change in someone's sex drive, for example, could be described as a physical symptom or as an emotional one.

Similarly, sleep problems could be included among the physical effects of stress. Or they could tie in with other emotional issues, such as anxiety.

In part two of this post, we will discuss strategies for how to manage these symptoms.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Stress symptoms: Effects on your body and behavior," Accessed April 7, 2014

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