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9

Psychological considerations

 

Once you’ve recovered from surgery and are adapting successfully to the physical changes resulting from the amputation, you’re likely to discover that focusing solely on your physical recovery is simply not enough.

Ernst van Dyk etch 2“Grieving gives opportunities for healing, renewal, growth and spiritual development. There will be times when your emotional recovery progresses smoothly, but there will also be times when you’re overwhelmed by painful feelings and limiting beliefs. These feelings are normal.”

- Ernst van Dyk

Every individual is complex and unique, and your emotional response to amputation is part of this. In many ways, losing a limb is like the death of a loved one: you must work through a series of stages of grieving to recover.

During these tough times, you can turn to family and friends, your spiritual beliefs and support groups. It will make things easier if you and your loved ones recognise this intense range of emotions as a natural part of the healing process. Some people find comfort and support in talking to others who have been through the same experience, and here your prosthetist may be able to help by putting you in touch with someone else who has lost a limb, or an amputee support group near you.

At times, however, the process may become too much for you, and then we strongly recommend that you consider seeking professional help. Counselling can be a wonderful aid in your recovery process and in enhancing the quality of your life. You may even find yourself growing in ways that would never have occurred if you hadn’t undergone amputation …

Good idea

The psychological effects of an amputation can have a profound effect on almost all aspects of your life: it would be a wise decision to seek help by talking to someone you trust.