Catharsis: From Grief To Freedom

A loss in life is to be mourned over and moved onto, with the hope of more things to come in life. What has taken form will disperse into nothingness and the most we can do is bask in the long memories of things, as the sad event passes away. Grief may tone down into sadness triggered by personal loss, while the individual may face these feelings imprinting a lasting impact on his life. These feelings may manifest upon a person, upon who he is affecting him day-in day-out.

According to the demographics, health or change in physical functioning of a person's body is the rapid cause of a mood change. From general sickness to a brief stint at the hospital any illness alters our psychological state for a period of time. Whereas, In case of severe procedures like amputation the story reads itself differently. Most people who undergo amputation face mental crisis, bringing about a stagnation in the quality of their life, stopping the wheels of their personal progress dead in tracks. The certain stages of grief associated with amputees is quite a confrontation, but without any dead ends.

Regionally speaking, Leg amputation in India is followed by a brief stint of rehabilitation, allowing the patient to go through a couple of leg prosthetics trials. This physical rehabilitation therapy is accompanied by cognitive care, highlighting the mental state of the patient at that point of his life. Before going ahead with the surgery, the Doctor shall rundown the procedure and future prospects after the amputation. Aside from the Doctor a therapist creates a detailed account of the person's background which plays a much greater role in his mental recovery from the trauma. Certain variables like age,occupation and lifestyle play a vital role in fixating on the mental status of a person after the surgery.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, a MD in psychology, in her research papers has further described how the stages of grief unfold after amputation. According to her research, for many patients amputation is an horrifying an experience equivalent to a personal loss. Moreover many of these patients go through cycles of anxiety, depression and bouts of suicidal thoughts as an emotional outburst to occurred personal loss. The job of the therapist is mainly to avoid alienation of the patient from his own self and keep him in touch with the reality, without wandering away into his own judgments.

Development of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is common among patients who undergo amputation due to an accident or outrageous incidents. The symptoms include, frequent flashbacks of a dreadful event, slipping easily into a fight- or-flight response, followed by avoidance to certain situations reminding them of their fatal accident. Amputees suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder develop a self harming mentality towards themselves, especially due to the feeling of losing something that was a part of who they were. Such bouts of Post Traumatic events may bring about a change in the amputees behavior, with short episodes of anger that are directed towards close ones, inherently due to self-hate and a victim mindset.

A certain group of amputees in denial, avoid artificial limbs or artificial legs, getting themselves in a rut reiterating through the past events, that led to the amputation. The recurring "what-if" mentality destroys any hope the therapist or Doctor may need to get the patient back on his feet. Though after frequent consultation with a therapist, the patient decides to look away from the past and eventually starts adapting newer way of life by using the provided support system.

Patients who inherit illness like Polio since a young age seem to be on the brighter side of the psychological spectrum. They easily adapt to support systems like calipers for Polio after failed attempts of Polio Leg Treatment. Most therapist's observe patients with Polio growing with confidence after trying the prosthesis for the first time, which adds to their mobility eventually helping them in their daily life. It is an important lesson for the new amputees to learn from the Polio patients, highlighting the thought that some things in life are beyond our control. Unlike the Polio patients many amputees keep mulling over incidents they realistically have control over. Breaking past this wall of thoughts opens new doors for amputees irrespective of their disability.

Amputees have procured artificial limbs in vizag and artificial limbs in Gurgaon, from several government run healthcare organizations, who concentrate an organized methodology of emotional healing after the surgery. Importance is given to actively expressing emotions felt by an amputee in concurrence to his condition. Anger is one of the main emotion's that most amputees are susceptible to during this period. Unhealthy suppression of anger for longer periods leads to depression and self shame, whereas actively expressing anger at the right time helps in strengthening the emotional facets of an amputee in the long run.

Getting involved in physical activities or work in general at a workplace or at home will keep the mind busy, avoiding occasional negative thoughts from creeping in. Some amputees may fail to monitor their inner-emotional self and fall into destructive addictions like excessive drinking or taking non-prescription drugs to cope with these rising thoughts. Alcohol being a depressant only adds wood to the furnace and causes a mental imbalance, taking the progress of the amputee back to zero.

Keeping the body in good shape helps before and after amputation. For people with diseases like diabetes, this may seem to be a complicated task, but can be slowly achieved by communicating with the concerned Doctors. A body with strength in muscles and healthy neurological system will adapt quickly to the new prosthesis making the rehabilitation period much fluent. Bonding with people of similar kind is a common method of catharsis among the amputees. Many amputees newly adapting to prosthesis seem to find relief knowing that they aren't the only ones who feel differently, in the horde of many others. Sharing experiences and feelings with fellow amputees develops a greater bond, bringing about positivity in the life.

by Utpal Upadhyay

 

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