Coping with SCI/Family & Friends

Talking about your injury with family & friends

When you have a spinal cord injury, it can be easy avoiding talking about your injury with your family and friends. It's just too difficult. Many of us would rather move on than talk about what happened. Friends and family however need to talk about our injuries. It helps them heal and make sense of what's happened.

And you may not know this, but it's our responsibility to discuss our injury with family and friends. We are the ones who need to let them know if it's ok or not to discuss it. After all, they are the ones who are worried about hurting our feelings. We need to give them the go ahead.

So as soon as you feel ready, take a moment with every family member and friend that you meet with, and let them know they should ask about your injury, and that it's ok to talk about it. Basically, make sure to let them know that it won't hurt your feelings. If you think it might bug you, you're not quite ready yet to discuss your injury.

Some families will have a family meeting when the injured family member comes home. This can really help lay everything out on the table and create an open dialogue and go over expectations. To help your friends adjust to your injury, consider throwing a welcome home party inviting all of your friends. In environments like this, serious discussions are more likely to happen.

Video: Talking spinal cord injury: the family perspective

Takeaway Points:

  • Let family and friends know it's OK to talk about your injury
  • Let them know that the "talk" won't hurt your feelings
  • Consider throwing a welcome home party for your family and friends to mingle