Psychological problems

Patients with spinal cord injuries are prone to a number of psychological problems similar to those seen in other intensive care unit patients, in addition to dealing with their paralysis. Denial of the injury or its implications is common, and patients may appear unusually cheerful in relation to their degree of dysfunction. At some point during the early stages of the injury a reactive depression appears, which will respond to antidepressants if treatment is felt necessary. Sensory deprivation will occur in proportion to the level of neurological deficit, which itself can lead to confusion, visual hallucinations, and sensorimotor hallucinations. Family and familiarity with the environment can be helpful.

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