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Suffering an accidental injury, stroke, heart attack, or condition brought on by a chronic illness can be frightening. Thankfully, there are reliable, high-quality rehabilitation centers offering skilled nursing expertise, targeted therapy, and other means to get you back on your feet again.

But what about mental health during rehab? Did you know that it, too, can have a major impact on how fast your recovery from a physical injury or health condition?

Here are 4 key ways that your mental health can impact the physical rehabilitation process.

1. Living in Denial vs. Facing Facts

The first step toward recovery is simply being honest with yourself. Pretending that the accident didn’t really happen, didn’t have the effects it had, or wasn’t as severe as it really was will only hinder progress.

After all, refusal to even recognize the injury pretty much precludes taking steps to do anything about it. Understanding and accepting reality, as harsh at it may seem sometimes, is really an essential first step in rehabilitation.

There may be things you cannot yet do initially that could be dangerous if you tried, for example. One cannot solve a problem by simply ignoring it.

2. Level of Motivation

Motivation, or the lack thereof, is another element that is psychological in nature but has an impact on physical recovery. It is easy to be overcome by grief, sadness, anger, guilt, or frustration to the point you find it difficult to try very hard at rehabilitation exercises.

Everyone needs something to live for, a reason to want to get better and to get “back to normal” as much as possible and as soon as possible. A sense of purpose should then lead to setting specific, attainable goals and working toward them consistently.

Motivation should also manifest itself in sustained cooperation with rehabilitation center nurses, therapists, and other staff during rehab.

3. Disengagement & Feelings of Isolation

It is natural for many to want to withdraw into themselves and disengage during a trying time like rehabilitation can be. However, this can lead to undue isolation, which may further encourage depression and a feeling of “loss of identity.”

By contrast, those who stay connected with family members, relatives, friends, co-workers, and others during rehabilitation tend to fare better. The encouragement that can come from positive interactions with others often helps speed recovery along.

4. Fear vs. Realistic Confidence

We mentioned that ignoring the problem is not healthy, but clinging to unrealistic gloom and doom – almost reveling in fear, anxiety, and hopelessness, is just as unhealthy mentally. It can impact how one does physically too during rehabilitation.

There is a lot of misinformation out there about rehab and about certain conditions that can lead to a lack of hope of recovery. Focusing only on the negative side and automatically assuming the worst creates a distorted picture of reality.

Doctors, nurses, and therapists at rehabilitation centers can give you a realistic and balanced view of your condition and what it will take to fully recover. These are people who have helped many others recover in the past and they know that it can be done.

Especially during the recent Covid-19 outbreaks, anxieties surrounding Senior Care in general has left a bad impression of safety and quality of care. Rest assured that the staff at The Arbors in Amarillo, TX has been following the strict guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of State Health Services (DSHS), the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). Not only do they do regular temperature checks and require masks of all staff and personnel, they conduct employee health screenings twice daily, and regular sanitization of all areas in the facility.

Overall, the impact of mental health on the injury recovery and rehabilitation process is generally indirect and yet can be powerful. One’s thinking affects one’s actions, which then affects recovery. Depression ill-effect rehabilitation, but it can be avoided. Steady, realistic thinking that doesn’t lose hope (coupled with appropriate action) will render the best results.

To learn more, contact the rehabilitation experts at the Arbors Amarillo rehab center in Amarillo, TX, in the heart of the North Texas Panhandle.