A Spinal Cord Injury can be a devastating occurrence not only for the person who has sustained the injury but also for family and friends.
If your family member or friend has sustained a spinal cord injury, you are likely to be feeling many mixed and often strong emotions. A report by the University of Alabama describes the emotions of family members as grief, anger, frustration, anxiety and numbness. It states that the feelings brought about by SCI are similar to those experienced after the loss of a family member.
It is important to remember that whatever you are feeling it is normal. You are likely to need extra support so it is important that you reach out to those who are close to you. As time goes on research has shown that some people become closer to their family member / friend with SCI. As well as that “more efficient ways of doing things” are discovered and the person with SCI almost always regains greater independence. The Alabama report states that the injury decreases in importance over time as adjustments are made and the family returns to a similar dynamic to that which existed before the SCI.
SII is here to provide support to you at any stage of your family / friend’s SCI. Contact 01 2355317 to arrange to speak to or meet with a Community Outreach Officer.
The Spinal Injuries Association in the UK has an online Family Forum which can be accessed here
Always speak to your GP if you feel unable to cope. Other support services include:
The Samaritans – A confidential emotional support service for anyone in Ireland. You can phone for free on 116 123.
GROW – The Community Mental Health Movement in Ireland. www.GROW.ie / 1890 474 474
AWARE – Support through depression. www.aware.ie / 01 661 7211.