How to Cope with an Amputation

How to Cope with an Amputation

February 14, 2020 3 By Jose Scott


welcome everybody today’s video is gonna be on how to successfully cope with an amputation I hope you’ve watched the overview on the traumatic experience of an amputation if you haven’t go back and watch that after this one this video is going to talk about again some specific coping skills on how to deal with this now this will be a general sense that I think will be beneficial to all people each of you also will need some of your own individualized specific coping skills and it might be helpful to see a healthcare professional therapist and counselor to help you individually through this process by at least hope this will be a good beginning and a good start to help you know what you can do and expect through this process now I stated in the video on trauma is that how one copes and deals with an amputation is as varied as there are people out there they go through this experience and also timing there’s a timing issue in this experience as I’ve worked with people that have gone through amputations and and gone through the healing process some people can do really well in the beginning and they can be positive and optimistic and they can really want to tackle this in a healthy way and they do for a period of time and then months even a year later it can really hit them and they can start to struggle and and go through a different stage of the healing process or you can be devastated right off the beginning and having difficulty coping with this so wherever you’re out whether this just happened and you’re learning these skills and tools and watching this or whether this has happened months or even over a year ago when you’re watching this so regardless of the tool I think this will be helpful it’ll give you some skills into some tools and some principles to understand through the healing process so in the beginning I want to be really clear that you’re gonna probably go through a rollercoaster of emotions and if you haven’t already please watch the video on the stages of grief because I’m really going to detail about all the different emotions that you can expect to experience in the healing process but a huge coping skill is giving yourself permission to experience all these wide range of emotions and not feeling guilty or bad or weak or less than if you have a down day or you’re angry or depressed again these are all stages of grief that I go into detail in that video but for purposes of this video the coping skill given is give yourself permission to feel your feelings are valid and I think that is an important aspect of successful coping in any traumatic event and especially experiencing an amputation there’s going to be coping with those around you too and they need some coping skills as well so family members of amputees should also be watching this as well because how do they respond they don’t know it’s like interacting with somebody who’s gone through a death we don’t know what to do we don’t know what to say oh I’m so sorry you’ve experienced this people say the darndest things right and as an amputee I know you’ve heard them all from the awkward comments to the downright stupid comments that you hear from other people so learning how to cope with other people is a really big aspect this and not taking personally are getting overly frustrated with the non amputees in your life and what they may say or how they may approach you in this process those skills will our our specific set of skills to and I may encourage you to watch again the videos the general videos that I’ve created to help one regulate their emotions and distorted thinking patterns because you’re gonna have some emotions and feelings towards others when they make certain comments to you or don’t know how to react because we’re just not taught as a society to deal with people that are different from us in an effective way and so again as an amputee I know you can feel very different from the rest of the world in one way you are and that’s okay you’re now your unique self and experiencing that from a healthy state first looking in the mirror and being healthy with it will be really important so let’s talk about this coping skill of self-esteem chances are your self-esteem is gonna take a hit so you’re going to want to really work on those things that build your self-esteem and your self-worth so how do we do all this I have the 3 s’s two coping with a traumatic event of any sorts in life and experiencing an amputation is no different so let’s look at each of these 3 s’s the first one is support I talk about support in the one the video on trauma as a protective factor and it really is an essential coping skill you can’t do this alone this is something that really is important to have a good support team to talk to to be around when you’re feeling down and when you’re feeling defeated and discouraged and so you need in one positive healthy supportive people around you that could be family friends professional therapists your prosthesis doctor there’s a lot of people that are going to be in your circle of influence they can be a really supportive factor for you and so you want to develop a healthy supportive support team that’s coping skill number one without that this is going to be really difficult the next s is self-care self-care is huge doing those things for you that help you cope with this and there’s a wide variety of self-care skills and tools that are really important I’m just gonna go over a few that I think are really big but you’ll find more in an experience more that fit your personality as well and you want to do your homework and your research on this on your own but let’s talk about some basics one important self-care tool will be finding a hobby and interest and this is a big one because this may have change drastically depending upon your amputation if your amputation has affected your main hobby and interest that’s going to be very discouraging and depressing for a while if not for a long while and again that’s okay but that doesn’t mean you can’t find new hobbies and interests that may sound really easy coming from someone who’s not an amputee but the principle is important and essential and I’ve seen it and I’ve heard about that from amputees to confirm this there’s a lot of activities out there and yes it may not be your given one but there is something there’s a lot of inspiring about amputees that have overcome and triumphed from this traumatic experience in their life and if they’ve done it you can do it so the world is your playground take the time to really go out and explore what can you do now what can you find an interest in and a passion in in spite of your amputation I know it’s possible I know you can do it and so I strongly encourage you to go out and find that interest in that hobby that’s going to be huge in this recovery process another one is exercise now again this may have been drastically changed on how you exercise depending on your amputation but exercise is known antidote to anxiety and depression and again you’re going to experience some depression and perhaps even anxiety going through an amputation and so getting out and getting the body moving in whatever way you can it’s going to be really important now of course you may have to adapt to your specific needs and abilities but there is a way for all of you anybody watching this there’s a way to get out and get moving somebody that wants to set that motion is part of emotion and if we want to feel good and we need to get up and be moving we can’t get sedentary we can’t just curl up and hibernate if we do that’s really gonna affect our emotions that’s gonna affect how we get through this grieving process so get out find a hobby and interest and get out and get moving and exercise now again those are suggest some key points but the main principle is do self-care take care of you in a healthy way now we have to talk a little bit about unhealthy self-care and those who experience an amputation are at a greater risk of experiencing addiction are coping through the means of things like drugs and alcohol or other addictive behaviors that seemed to make the pain go away right away in the instant and they do but they’re not healthy so stay away from those things if those are part of your life then again seek professional help you want to make sure you’re coping in dealing with this life experience in the most healthy ways possible so do some research find some self-care activities and ideas there’s numerous ones this video I can explain and teach you all the self-care techniques but I think the things that we’ve talked about are one of the top on the list at least in my experience in my opinion alright let’s go to the third ass the third ass is spiritual or spirituality or spiritual growth research has shown that those who have a spiritual foundation or spiritual faith cope with and heal through the amputation process more effectively than those who do not and this is true in a lot of areas of life but specifically to amputations we find this to be true now I’m not going to define what spirituality is to you and there’s a difference between spirituality and religious ‘ti I’m not saying you have to go to church and become a bible thumper what I’m saying is you to cope with this experience it’s going to be really important for you to have a sense of a spiritual belief why I think a large part those who have a spiritual belief system have a belief and a philosophy in life that allows them to cope with tragedy and trauma much differently than those who don’t it answers the question of why for a lot of people or how to cope and so if you are a spiritual person then continue that path if you’re not I encourage you to explore that research it what does it mean to be spiritual to you and how can you develop that in your life let’s talk about some areas of spirituality that are kind of general to most people a big spiritual practice is prayer and meditation now again you don’t have to be religious to believe in prayer and meditation but those who practice it find great benefits from it and so if that’s not something that you’ve learned about or tried I highly encourage you now that can also tie into self-care when we do these practices we’re taking care of ourselves but we’re also connecting spiritually another common way to grow or experience spirituality is through giving service service to others is predominantly a spiritual practice it’s helping another human being and when we provide service to someone else in need we can’t help but feel good about ourselves and so going through this amputation again has gotten you down on yourself in your life a great antidote to that is to serve others and help others who are in need it’s a time proven skill and tool to feel good about ourselves and to lift our spirits and to feel spiritual so again I’m not here to define what spiritual means to you but I’m here to tell you that it’s proven that’s again those that are spiritually minded can cope and get through this experience more effectively than those who are not so these are some basic coping skills and tools to deal with an amputation again you need to have support you need to have a healthy team around you to build you up when you’re struggling you need to have self-care you need to take care of yourself and do those things that make you happy in a healthy way and you need to have a spiritual foundation and to grow spiritually whatever that means to you again I hope this was helpful please provide feedback please let me know other areas and other things that have helped you cope successfully with an amputation because if it’s helped you it may help someone else and I know the amputation community is small and it’s a tight-knit community and so help each other by responding and telling each other what’s working for you until next time make it a great day and make it a great week