People may experience feelings of anxiety, anger (directed toward self, family or caregivers), depressed mood, shock, denial, ambivalence, hopelessness, helplessness, numbness and disconnection. Some people report feelings of relief as their amputation was expected and resulted in freedom from pain with improved function. These feelings can be frightening and overwhelming and people often believe they are going crazy. This is not so!
People often compare their feelings to being on a roller coaster ride. Like a roller coaster, they feel they have little control over their lives. They may experience “highs and lows” ranging between optimism and despair. The ranges of feelings you may experience are normal and expected and part of the healing process.
These new feelings may affect how you normally cope with daily living. For example, many people read as a way of coping with stress. After an amputation, it is common for people to find it difficult to concentrate. If reading is a way of coping with stress, they may not be able to use this to help them. You may need to develop new ways of coping to help with feelings and stress related to your amputation. These intense feelings will settle over time.
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