Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers advice for maintaining your mental health.
Thinking about the many new amputees going through the trauma of loss, pain, reorientation and life transition and hoping that they will learn to survive, cope and live well brings such a perspective to many of life's other problems.
For example, I'm aware of several marital disappointments going on in my circle of patients and friends, maybe even my own life. We're all getting older and have to deal with health issues and energy loss. Some experience tempatations and distractions which interfere with their marriages. Our friends suffer from a variety of diseases, personality problems and health crises which scare us for the future. Then, there are those on medications which interact badly. Our visions of growing older gracefully, of staying young forever, or of never-failing romance and passion have been sadly shattered. Compared to the amputees, all of these problems count for nothing. But, each one's pain and suffering is significant and relevant, important and maybe even life-changing, in its own way.
So, for the amputees and for the marital crises, for the problems of aging and the difficulties of relationship change, there are choices, as always--to become perssimistic and give up, to hang on to all that is good and work around the negative, to find whatever therapies and solutions can help, and to focus on commitment, companionship, sensitivity, compensation, and happy surprises.