Expected Emotions and Helpful Coping Tips

Emotional stages you will probably experience are: first, denial and disbelief; second, sadness, anger and bargaining; and third and most important, acceptance.

It’s natural and important to grieve the loss of the way things were before the injury. It’s also necessary to set new goals and find a way to move forward with your life.

As you begin to accept the consequences of what has happened, you can start to plan how to make the best of the challenge you’re facing.

Your relationships with family and friends will be tested, you may feel overwhelmed or try to go on like nothing has changed. Everyone copes with these feelings in different ways. With time and support, you’ll begin to adjust to the challenge of spinal cord injury and understand your “new normal.” As you go through this process, be sure to:

  • Empower yourself with as much knowledge as you can.
  • Check out local and state support groups, as well as nationally recognized spinal cord injury organizations, such as the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, The American Trauma Society and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.
  • Be wary of random internet surfing of topics related to spinal cord injury.
  • Rely on Websites from reputable organizations that have already consolidated information and offer helpful tools and checklists.