This week, we heard an excellent lecture at our semi-annual meeting of the American Society of Ocularists about psychological coping techniques for our patients with ocular prosthetics and vision loss. Allison Fine, MSW is a medical social worker and counselor who works with individuals, couples and groups in the Seattle area. She provides compassionate support through her private practice for those dealing with chronic illness, grief and loss, depression, anxiety, and end of life issues. Below is a synopsis of how patients can be affected by depression and how they can cope with it as well!
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
- Increase or Decrease in Weight (Lack of Appetite or Eating More Frequently)
- Increase or Decrease in Sleep Habits (Fatigue/Insomnia)
- Loss of Interest in Daily Activities
- Irritability, Anger, Frustration, Restlessness
- Trouble Concentrating or Difficulty Making Decisions
- Unexplained Aches and Pains
- Feelings of Hopelessness or Helplessness
- Suicidal Thoughts or Actions
- *If you are experiencing any or all of these, you may be experiencing depression.
Common thoughts and feeling related to ocular prosthesis/eye loss/vision loss and depression:
- I feel sad that I have lost my eye/vision.
- Why did this have to happen to me?
- Will I ever get used to my new prosthesis?
- I feel damaged.
- Will people still see me the same way with my prosthesis?
- How do I explain to others what I have been through?
- Do I have to explain to others what I have been through?
- Eat Well
- Sleep Well
- See medical professionals regularly for check-ups and medical concerns
- Take medications/supplements regularly
- Spend time with partners, family and friends
- Participate in hobbies/activities you enjoy or try something new
- Practice positive thinking
- Make time each day for relaxation and fun
- Meditate/practice breathing exercises
- Seek the support of a counselor
- Join a support group