Tag Archives: Personal Injury Law

Life with Chronic Pain can Cause Depression

Life with chronic or long-term pain is difficult and the depression that can accompany long-term pain makes it even worse. “Depression magnifies pain. It makes everyday living more difficult.”[1] Pain is considered chronic or long-term when it lasts beyond what would be expected from the original injury. This kind of pain can cause low energy, depression, and unusually high levels of stress hormones.[2]

Chronic pain can also disrupt sleep and make you more sensitive to other pain. You may even start to hurt in areas that used to feel fine. According to the American Pain Foundation, research shows that around 32 million people in the United States report pain that has lasted for a year or more – that means that one in ten Americans report chronic or long-term pain. Between 25 and 50% of those who talk to their doctors about long-term pain are clinically depressed.[3]

“People with chronic pain have three times the average risk of developing psychiatric symptoms — usually mood or anxiety disorders — and depressed patients have three times the average risk of developing chronic pain.”[4]

Life with Chronic Pain can Cause Depression

“Pain provokes an emotional response in everyone. If you have pain, you may also have anxiety, irritability, and agitation. These are normal feelings when you’re hurting. Usually, as pain subsides, so does the stressful response. But with chronic pain, you may feel constantly tense and stressed. Over time, the stress can result in different emotional problems associated with depression. Some of the problems individuals with both chronic pain and depression have include:”

  • Altered mood
  • Chronic anxiety
  • Decreased self-esteem
  • Family stress
  • Fatigue
  • Fear of injury
  • Financial concerns
  • Physical deconditioning
  • Reduced sexual interest and activity
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Social isolation
  • Weight gain or loss[5]

“Researchers once thought the relationship between pain, anxiety, and depression resulted mainly from psychological rather than biological factors. Chronic pain is depressing, and likewise major depression may feel physically painful. But as researchers have learned more about how the brain works, and how the nervous system interacts with other parts of the body, they have discovered that pain shares some biological mechanisms with anxiety and depression.”[6]

The combination of depression and pain is reflected in the circuitry of the nervous system. Pain goes both ways between the body and the brain. Normally, the brain interrupts the signals of physical discomfort so that we can function. When this shutoff valve is broken, physical sensations, including pain, are more likely to become the center of attention. The pathways of the brain that handle pain, including the brain’s center of emotion, use some of the same pathways for regulating mood. When regulation fails, pain is intensified along with sadness, hopelessness, and anxiety. And chronic pain, like chronic depression, can alter the functioning of the nervous system and make itself worse in a continuing cycle.[7]

From a common-sense view point, “’we know that simply having a bad headache or back pain for a day can affect our mood. Imagine having that pain every day for six months. It’s actually quite reasonable to expect anxiety and depression with chronic pain,’ says pain management specialist Hersimren Basi, MD.”[8]

If you have pain and depression because of an injury as the result of a someone else’s negligence, see a doctor, and, as always, please call Groth Law Firm, S.C. with any questions.  We are available 24/7 to discuss your options as the victim of negligence. Our initial consultations are always free.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice and should not be used as legal advice. It is not medical advice and should not be used as medical advice. The legal statutes, laws, and procedures contained in this article may not be current and may have been revised since the time of publication or contain errors. An attorney can provide legal guidance only after reviewing the details of your individual case.

[1] https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-chronic-pain#1

[2] https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-chronic-pain#1

[3] https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-chronic-pain#1

[4] https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/depression-and-pain

[5] https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-chronic-pain#1

[6] https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/the-pain-anxiety-depression-connection

[7] https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/depression-and-pain

[8] https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2017/08/why-chronic-pain-brings-you-down-how-to-feel-better/

Mold Exposure a Real Threat to Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), indoor mold grows best in damp and humid conditions, but spores from mold can survive even harsh dry conditions. Molds are a type of fungi that are found both indoors and out. 

Areas like basements, laundry rooms, and bathrooms are common places for mold growth because they tend to be generally damp and humid. But mold can also result from negligence; for example, from leaky pipes in walls, water damage from roof leaks, or flooded basements from improper drainage. Just because you can’t see the mold doesn’t mean it’s not there – any major water spill could result in harmful mold.

For those with sensitivity to mold, “exposure to molds can cause symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation.”[1] More severe reactions are also possible, including, in rare circumstances, mold infection of the lungs.[2]

The Institute of Medicine, in 2004, “found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people; [and] with asthma symptoms in people with asthma . . .”[3]

According to the CDC, the specific type of mold does not generally matter; if you are sensitive to mold and see mold in your home, you should have it removed. Even small amounts of mold can cause health problems for individuals with mold sensitivity. “Standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable or tolerable quantity of mold have not been established.”[4]

When should you see a doctor? According to the CDC, if you have been exposed to mold and think you are suffering symptoms as a result, you should see your family doctor. Your doctor can then diagnose if you have a mold allergy or infection and may refer you to a specialist.

If you think you’ve been exposed to mold due to negligence and suffered an injury as a result, see a doctor, and, as always, please call Groth Law Firm, S.C. with any questions. We are available 24/7 to discuss your options as the victim of negligence that has caused you injury. Our initial consultations are always free.

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm

[2] https://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm

[3] https://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm

[4] https://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm

Tinnitus Injuries After A Crash

Tinnitus: Un Antes y un después del accidente.

Increíble cómo un accidente vehicular leve o un tan común golpe en la cabeza puede cambiarnos la vida.

¿Se imagina un zumbido o silbido 24 horas al día dentro de su cabeza? Es verdad, no va a matarle pero podría enloquecerle un poco.

¿De qué hablamos?

Tinnitus es percepción de ruidos en la cabeza, que no tienen relación con sonidos externos o síntomas psiquiátricos, ya que su mente no es responsable del mismo (esto lo diferencia de una alucinación)

Es común sufrir de tinnitus temporal luego de exponernos a un ruido intenso como al asistir a un concierto o al estar en medio del tráfico vehicular de una ciudad muy ruidosa, pero cuando es permanente es realmente un problema de salud.

Las causas más frecuentes de Tinnitus son:

  • Golpes en la cabeza.
  • Efectos secundarios de medicamentos como: Aspirina, Neomicina y Amikacina.
  • Infecciones en el oído.
  • Obstrucción del oído.

 

¿Cómo un accidente puede producir tinnitus?

En el interior de nuestro oído hay unas pequeñas células llamadas células ciliadas que son las responsables de la recepción del sonido en el oído interno, que luego se va a transmitir a nuestro cerebro.

En muchas ocasiones se desconoce su causa, pero un trauma directo sobre la cabeza o incluso el ruido intenso por ejemplo durante la colisión de 2 vehículos en un accidente, puede lesionar estas estructuras provocando una disfunción que desencadena el molesto zumbidos o silbidos típicos del tinnitus.

El Servicio de Sanidad de Oregón y La Clínica Universitaria del Tinnitus realizaron una investigación con 2.400 pacientes que padecían de tinnitus permanente; de estos el 12% había presentado accidentes con afectación de cabeza o cuello.

Este grupo comparados con el resto de los pacientes con tinnitus por otras causas (infecciosas, efectos de medicamentos, etc) en ellos los síntomas diarios eran mucho más intensos:

  • Problemas para dormir.
  • Dificultad para relajarse.
  • Disminución de la concentración.
  • Problemas de memoria a corto plazo.

¿El tinnitus tiene cura?

Cuando hablamos de una enfermedad esperamos que la respuesta para tratarla sea un medicamento, combinación de medicamentos, exponernos a estudios o aparatos sofisticados o incluso una cirugía.

Esto no es diferente cuando le decimos al paciente: “Ese ruido que escuchas es un problema de oído posterior al accidente” ya que inmediatamente la pregunta es: “¿Qué tomo para eso doctora?

Es lamentable reconocer que actualmente no hay una cura para esta molesta condición, sin embargo hay terapias realizadas por especialistas que pueden ayudarnos a controlarla basada en lo siguiente:

1.- Exponer a la persona a un sonido asociado a su tinnitus (que es diferente en cada persona)

2.- Se les indica que pongan atención a las sensaciones que tienen al percibirlo.

Esto se basa en identificar y enfrentar las reacciones de miedo y ansiedad relacionadas, que son las que realmente afectan la calidad de vida de la persona con tinnitus.

En un estudio realizado aplicando esta terapia aunque el sonido no desapareció, las reacciones de miedo sí disminuyeron en gran manera.

Por su causa poco clara y lo variable de los síntomas en cada caso es casi imposible curarla con un tratamiento estándar, sin embargo este tipo de terapia ayudan a aceptar la condición, enfrentarla y convivir con ella sin enloquecer en el intento.

 

Attorney Groth on Chicago’s WGN 720

Thanks again to Bill Leff for the opportunity to speak about the Intentional Tort of Texting, Trial by Google, Facebook and Litigation and the many other interesting questions from the audience. It’s always a pleasure being a guest on the show.

Drunk Driving a Wheelchair

Doesn’t this story just make my point that taking the keys from a drunk driver probably won’t stop the offender?  Jail time or prison takes the multiple drunk driver off the streets…that is really the only to guarantee a drunk driver won’t drive.  This guy had 4 prior convictions.   Cars or a wheelchair – the guy, for some reason, had to drive.