Even after they recover from their burn injuries, many people are left with scars, discoloration and other such issues. Some have deformities. Burned tissue does not always regenerate perfectly, even with proper medical care, especially when the burns were very severe.
This can lead to some significant body image issues that may last for life. These may include:
- Feeling dependent on someone else that they trust and always wanting to stay with them in public areas
- Feeling profound sadness or grief about the way their appearance has changed
- Mourning the loss of physical abilities
- Feeling anxious about being intimate with anyone else
- Feeling anxious whenever they approach a social setting -- like a public pool -- where the scars may become more visible or harder to hide
- Worrying about how new people feel or how they'll react
- Feeling anxious about the questions they know people are going to ask or the way they're going to stare
In many ways, this makes the burn injuries, even though they have healed, something that impacts every moment of the person's day. They may spend a lot of time obsessing over them and worrying about everything. They may remove themselves from certain social situations or intimate relationships. They may struggle with depression and anxiety, needing medication to cope with the way that they feel for years after the incident.
If you have gotten burned on the job and you're considering workers' compensation, make sure you keep all of these issues in mind. They really help to define the impact the injury has on your life, which could be far greater than an outsider would realize.