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Workers’ Compensation And Depression…What Are My Rights?

Workers’ Compensation and Depression…What Are My Rights?

Accidents at work often happen. Laws ensure that workers receive adequate treatment and compensation if they are injured on the job. But what happens when your physical injuries lead to anxiety and depression? One moment you have a great job and a cheery routine of exercising, helping out around the house and caring for your kids, and the next day it’s almost impossible to take out the trash. When your life turns upside down, it is common for a person to experience clinical depression.

What Is Depression?

It’s normal to experience periods in your life when you may not feel as upbeat as usual. Individuals diagnosed with depression experience sadness and negative thoughts on a constant basis. People may also have trouble performing daily activities, feel as though their life is pointless, or show little to no interest in the world around them. If a work-related injury has deeply troubled your life, and you’ve been neglecting your friends and family, you might be suffering from depression.

Depression is nothing to be ashamed of. In 2014, the National Institute of Mental Health reported that almost 16 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in the past year. Learning to recognize the signs of depression is the first step toward getting your life (or a loved one’s) back on track.

Symptoms of Depression

It can sometimes be challenging to determine if someone is going through a temporary phase or if that person is clinically depressed. General symptoms of depression include:

  • Loss of energy and motivation
  • Lack of joy and interest in former hobbies
  • Low self-esteem and low self-confidence
  • Feeling guilty
  • Having trouble concentrating and making decisions
  • Feeling emotionally numb or indifferent
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Hopelessness and anxiety about the future
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Anxiety

Can You Claim Workers’ Compensation for Depression?

Yes, it is possible to claim workers’ compensation for depression if you can prove that your depression is work-related. This typically means demonstrating that the depression was either caused or exacerbated by your job. However, proving mental health claims can be more challenging than physical injury claims due to the subjective nature of mental health.

North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act

If depression is diagnosed as related to a work injury, the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act can provide payment for treatment. Depression and mental health issues are quite common in the world of workers’ compensation. You are not alone, and professional help is available to you.

More specifically, if you or a friend have recently been injured on the job in North Carolina, ask the following questions to determine whether seeking out professional help should be the next step.

  • Do you often feel as though nothing will get better?
  • Have you lost interest in hobbies, pastimes, social activities, spending time with friends/family, or sex?
  • Has your appetite changed or have you suddenly gained or lost weight?
  • Are you waking up very early or sleeping very late?
  • Do you easily become agitated, restless or even violent?
  • Are you always feeling fatigued, sluggish and physically drained?
  • Do you often feel worthless or guilty?
  • Have you started partaking in any reckless behavior, such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving or dangerous sports?
  • Are you having trouble focusing, making decisions or remembering things?
  • Are you experiencing headaches, back pain, aching muscles or stomach pain?

Seeking Professional Help for Depression

Thankfully there are multiple ways to obtain help for depression. Ask your primary care physician for a recommendation. Numerous therapists in your area are professionally trained to help you conquer depression. For instance, the Anxiety Wellness Center in Cary, NC, is registered with the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. You can also locate a therapist based on your zip code.

Wilson, Reives, Silverman & Doran

The workers’ compensation lawyers at Wilson, Reives, Silverman & Doran fully understand your rights as an injured worker. If you’re suffering from depression due to disability or loss of income, call us today at (919) 636-6203 to make an appointment for a free consultation at our Sanford or Apex location. Our top-notch success with personal injury and workers’ compensation cases is known throughout North Carolina. Wilson, Reives, Silverman & Doran is here to make sure you receive the compensation that’s rightfully yours.


National Center for Biotechnology Information: Depression Overview


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