Can talking with a therapist help me cope with the trauma of losing a limb?

Talking to a therapist can provide you with insight into yourself, along with helpful methods that will strengthen your resolve. Therapy may be a one-on-one session with a professional therapist (PhD, DSci, CSW, Nurse Practitioner, or a PA) who has experience in dealing with veterans. The session may include specific help with acceptance of the limb loss, education about what the future may hold, ways to identify the warning signs of depression that may happen with a chronic health condition, and intervention strategies to manage stress, as well as to increase coping skills and overall resilience.

Working with a therapist, you can learn to develop healthy patterns of activity and social involvement, thereby influencing overall quality of life. On a side note, studies show that veterans with an amputation alone have been found to live fairly normal lives long-term during a follow-up. Veterans who had an amputation along with another medical problem had a higher risk of psychological symptoms. Knowing this, it may be proactive to see a therapist early on and talk about your emotions before your mood state changes.

Continue Learning about Amputation as a Physical Disability

Amputation as a Physical Disability

The National Library of Medicine defines an amputee as a person who as lost a limb, an arm or a leg. While other amputations (such as breast) are done, they are considered differently. The most common reason for amputation is not ...

injury, but peripheral artery disease. Other reasons include cancer or an extremely severe infection that is not responding. Amputees may have phantom pain which is pain that seems to be in the limb that is missing. This often goes away after a period of weeks to months. Part of rehabilitation after an amputation may be fitting with an artificial or prosthetic limb and training in how to use it. Amputees are encouraged to exercise, and special prosthetics have been developed to help golf swings or enable skiing.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.