This is a part of the Hot Topic podcast series from the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center on Employment After Burn Injury. Shelley Wiechman, PhD, Psychologist, discusses Psychological Issues Burn Injury Patients Face.

SHELLEY WIECHMAN: Some of the major psychological barriers that would impact somebody’s ability to turn, return to work, um, would be symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, symptoms of depression, um, sleep deprivation, and some body image concerns. Um, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder tends to be more of a significant issue if they were burned at the, on the work place, they were burned on the job, and now they need to go back to that job. Um, and some of the symptoms that they may experience would be, uh, nightmares or flashbacks about the injury, um, or about the accident, a sense of hyper-vigilance or being on-edge, that the world just isn’t a safe place any more, a tendency to avoid, so to avoid the situation or the circumstance where they were injured. All of those things are very normal response to this type of sig, significant trauma. Uh, it’s part of the human condition and this fight-or-flight response, so it’s very normal, but we need to help them overcome it so they can return to work successfully.

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